APU SoMAD Students And Faculty Win Big At Wheel Rims Design Challenge

This may speak to young car enthusiasts, when you pursue a dream car, what catches your attention may not be what you are looking for in a car but just because it has the most beautiful wheel rims you have ever seen! Besides playing a vital role in your entire driving experience, a rim design that integrates arts and engineering is also important for aesthetic needs!

Wheel rims designed by APU’s Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Design student Bryan Teh Yea Quan are spectacularly portrayed on a Porsche.
The Art of Wheels: Rim Design Challenge 2022, organized by Giant Light Metal Technology Malaysia (GLM), saw Bryan Teh Yea Quan, a Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Design student at the School of Media, Arts and Design (SoMAD) at Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation (APU) emerged as Champion in designing dashing wheel rims for a Porsche.

The competition began with more than 50 participants from local universities, who were given a list of Porsche sports car models to design rims for, based on technical specifications and target consumers aged between 18 to 40. The top 32 qualifiers were selected for the next phase, and the Porsche car owners shortlisted the top 10 qualifiers during the judging session.

The finalists' designs were sent for production in Kunshan, China, for professional judges and car owners to judge based on the actual rims, and the winners were announced in mid-October 2022. APU Chief Innovation & Enterprise Officer Prof. Dr. Vinesh Thiruchelvam was one of the honorary judges for the competition.
The Champion of the Art of Wheels: Rim Design Challenge 2022, a wheel rim designed by APU’s Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Design student Bryan Teh Yea Quan.
Attributing his success to the School, Bryan said, “SoMAD played a crucial role in helping me achieve my vision with practical guidance by using top-of-the-line design software and equipment, along with feedback from experienced lecturers. All these had directed me in the right direction.”

The truth was, SoMAD APU became the biggest winner in this competition which ran from June 2022 to March 2023. In addition to Bryan’s victory, 18 contestants from APU made it to the Top 32, and three of them to the Top 10 and all won! Industrial Design Lecturer Mr. Saifullizan Abdul Wahab attained first runner-up, and Bachelor of Arts in Product Design student Kenneth Sanderson received a consolation prize.

APU’s contestants strongly demonstrated the neo-trend style of the wheel rim, where they had shown a strong sense of design on wheel features such as light aluminium alloy materials. Besides, they also portrayed a strong sense of aesthetics, and most importantly, their designs are capable of mass production by using the latest wheel manufacturing technologies.

At the prize-giving ceremony on April 3, 2023, the trio received cash prizes and trophies, and their award-winning designs were exhibited on a real Porsche. Mr. Loh Tze Jye, the Organising Chairman; Mr. Henry Tho, the Chairman of GLM; and Mr. Andrew Thu, the Branch Manager of GLM were at the ceremony. The designs were further displayed at the Malaysia Autoshow 2023 from May 4 to 7, where the organisers participated.

Mr. Henry Tho (centre) hands over mock cheques of RM5,000, RM3,000 and RM500 to APU’s students and faculty - Bryan Teh Yea Quan (5th from right), Mr. Saifullizan Abdul Wahab (4th from right), and Kenneth Sanderson (2nd from right), who won Champion, First Runner-up, and consolation prize respectively.
Recalling how he had come across the torment and test from phase 1 to the final, the champion Bryan narrated, “I spent around four months on the project, constantly refining the design to meet the requirements of the competition. By spending time doing research and understanding my client as well as the characteristic of the car, I was able to establish key design criteria and let my design go wild before refining them to better match the criteria.”

APU’s Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Design student Bryan Teh Yea Quan (2nd from right) receives a cash prize and a trophy from the members of the organising committee – Mr. Andrew Thu (from left), Mr. Henry Tho and Mr. Loh Tze Jye.
Bryan applauded that this winning will be a springboard for him to propel into greater opportunities and firmly believe with the willingness to learn, he can continue to grow and develop as a designer and make meaningful contributions to the field of transport design. He was mentored by lecturers Mr. Saifullizan Abdul Wahab and Ms. Christine Lim Pei Shin at SoMAD.

Mr. Saifullizan Abdul Wahab, who specialised in lecturing transport design besides computer-aided design-based modules like 3D Design and Advanced 3D Visualisation, also mentored Kenneth Sanderson by joining hands with his colleague in the industrial design programme Mr. Teay Siew Yen. To motivate his students even more, Saifullizan made himself available to join the competition and attained first runner-up.

The rim design challenge undoubtedly broadened the horizons for designers to understand the rapidly growing lifestyle needs of the alloy wheel market, as they need to incorporate the use of alloy material to a new level of functionality, durability, aesthetic and quality performance that automakers and customers would love to experience.

In conclusion, the Art of Wheels: Rim Design Challenge 2022 was a fantastic opportunity for young designers to showcase their talents and demonstrate their skills in the field of transport design. “This was an amazing experience where students and academic staff worked together to further establish design knowledge, expanded creativity and innovative thinking. Furthermore, it also provides a great way to promote the APU brand and effectively collaborate with the industries,” concluded Prof. Dr. Vinesh Thiruchelvam.