People Awards 2023 winners revealed | Article

Daisy Ratnasari

At a raucous evening back at the Londoner Hotel, Car Design News was delighted to recognise the amazing individuals, teams, leaders and educators in car design.

Winners were chosen by a panel of industry judges across 15 categories, followed by the winners of the tenth-anniversary edition of Car Design Review – including the lifetime acheivement award. Plus, there was the inaugural Peter Horbury Fellowship award in tribute to the great man himself and his imapct on the design community; and a sketch battle supported by Hyundai to kick things off. 

The People Awards categories were hotly contested this year, with some close ties and honourable mentions along the way. Thank you to our expert judges for putting so much time and consideration into the process. 

The full list of winners can be found below. 

Best Clay Modeller – sponsored by Kolb Design Technology

This award recognises a modeller with world-class ability to turn sketches into physical models; showcasing the continued importance of clay modelling in car design. The award was presented by Markus Guggemos, Managing Director of Kolb Design Technology.

The winner was: Mark Welland from Tata Motors.

Mark leads the clay modelling team at Tata Motors UK, known for assembling a top-tier team and producing outstanding work like the Tata Avinya concept and the 2025 Tata Sierra. Mark is hailed as one of the best clay modelers, demonstrating expertise in all aspects of production and concept development.

Honourable mentions went to both Mahindra Design and Changan.

 The full shortlist was: 

  • Rikard Johansson, Volvo Cars
  • Norihiro Kuroki, Chang’an
  • Mark Welland, Tata Motors
  • Vince Fuller, JLR
  • Subhash Patil, Mahindra & Mahindra

Best CMF Team – sponsored by Generation Phoenix

This award is for a team’s innovative approach to materials and colour, skilfully unifying exterior and interior design. Presenting the award was Nico den Ouden, chief commercial officer at Generation Phoenix.

The winner was: Volvo Cars CMF team

The judges were impressed by how the design identified and addressed different passenger needs. They were particularly pleased by how the team combined sustainability and Scandinavian aesthetics. 

The full shortlist included: 

  • Bentley Batur Mulliner CMF team
  • Hyundai Europe CMF team
  • Range Rover Sport CMF team
  • Mahindra Design CMF team
  • Tata Motors Design CMF team
  • Hyundai Korea CMF team
  • Volvo Cars CMF team

Volvo CMF team CDN_PeopleAwards-2

Best Collaboration – sponsored by Technicon Design

This award looked at projects that resulted from a close working relationship between different departments within the same company; or between an OEM and a supplier or academic institution. The award was presented Technicon’s CEO, Romain Chevalier.

The winner was: Strategic Design Team, LTCC

The judges praised Lotus for its exceptional brand strategy, which was seamlessly executed across all media and touchpoints. The judges also said that beyond vehicle design, their discipline on the brand side is “unparalleled”. Lotus’s strategy “skilfully blends strong heritage and values with a modern touch, beautifully presented at every level.” 

  • Maruti Suzuki ‘Jimny’ personalisation team
  • ‘AI-FusionX’ – Incari, L2Concept, Factory Unit & Dynaudio
  • ‘Matter’ thought leadership incubator
  • ‘Collaboration Manual’ by Meridian Audio & JLR
  • Strategic Design Team – Lotus Tech Creative Centre 
  • Mahindra Design & Mahindra Racing

Lotus LTCC CDN_PeopleAwards-5

Best Digital Modelling Team – sponsored by Linkage Design

This was a hotly contested category, with more of a longlist than a shortlist in the end given the strength of submissions. The judges looked for a team that can bring a sketch or brief to life in the virtual space, effectively interpreting data, working together and getting creative. Presenting the award was Michael Check, general manager of Linkage Design.

The winner was: Digital Design Team Korea, Hyundai.  

Honourable mention went too the LTCC Digital Modelling team. 

The full shortlist included:

  • Mahindra Advanced Design Europe modelling team – Thar.e
  • Changan Global Design Centre Digital Modelling Team
  • Aston Martin Digital Surfacing Team
  • Hyundai California Digital Design Team
  • Lotus Digital Modelling Team
  • JLR Digital Modelling Team
  • Mahindra Design – BE Rall_E CAS Team
  • GAC China Production Modelling Team
  • Hyundai Korea Digital Design Team 

Best Digital Modelling Team CDN_People Awards-6

Best Exterior Design Team – sponsored by Autodesk

Judges looked for a dynamic, innovative team that pushes the boundaries of exterior design. Presenting the award was Autodesk’s Thomas Heermann, VP Automotive, Conceptual Design & Extended Reality.

The winner was: Exterior Design Team, Citroen.

The judges commented on the excitement of seeing what they described as “innovative work”, noting that “with an overall fresh design, Citroen truly hit the mark.”

The full shortlist was: 

  • Mahindra Advanced Design Europe Exterior Design Team
  • Caterham Project V Exterior Design Team
  • SAIC Design UK – MG Cyberster Exterior Design Team
  • Range Rover Sport SV Design Team
  • Ford of Europe Exterior Design Team – Passenger Vehicles
  • Volvo EX30 Exterior Design Team
  • Citroen Oli Exterior Design Team
  • Hyundai Global Exterior Design Team

Citreon Oli exterior_CDN_PeopleAwards-15

The Peter Horbury Fellowship Award

In memory of the late Peter Horbury, this award aims to help a promising RCA student complete their studies. 

Awarded by Peter’s wife Elisabeth Horbury, the award went to Luke Woloszczuk Veevers.

Luke Woloszczuk Veevers won the Peter Horbury Fellowship Award

Best Interior Design Team – sponsored by Ultrafabrics

This award celebrates the team that combines functionality, aesthetics and sustainability to create class-leading interiors.  Presenting the award were Ultrafabrics’  automotive advanced design sales manager Kimberley Harrington, and European automotive account manager, Joanna Lomas.

The winner was: Interior Design Team, Citroen. 

The judges praised Citroën’s Interior Design Team for creating what they describe as “a modern, globally-conscious car with a green approach, user-friendly features, and innovative design.” 

The shortlist included: 

  • Mahindra Advanced Design Europe Interior Design Team
  • Hyundai Interior Design Team Korea
  • Lincoln Interior Design Team
  • Bentley Interior Design Team
  • Zeekr Interior Design Team
  • Volvo Interior Design Team
  • Tata Motors Interior Design Team
  • Citroen Design Team

Best Interior Design Team Volvo_CDN_PeopleAwards-7

Best Lighting Design Team

The winner of this category is a team that uses light to shape brand identity, optimise the user experience, and create a unique ambience.  Presenting the award was Car Design News editor, James McLachlan.

The winner was: Lighting Design Team, Volvo Cars

Our judges described this as “an astonishing submission,” and said the team is “lighting the way forward.”  Terrible pun intended, we assume.

  • Lynk & Co Exterior Lighting Design Team
  • Chang’an Component Creative Design Department
  • Hyundai Lighting Design Team Namyang
  • Volvo Lighting Design Team
  • Range Rover Lighting Design Team
  • SEAT/Cupra Exterior Illumination Team

Best Lighting Design Team_CDN_PeopleAwards-8

Best Sketcher – sponsored by Hyundai

This award is for an individual that demonstrates skilful freehand drawings of a production or concept car. Presenting the award was Simon Loasby, head of the Hyundai Design Centre.

The joint winners were: Thomas Lienhart from Zeekr, and Christopher Shaw of Mahindra Advanced Design Europe. 

In a battle between two strong submissions, our judges reached a stalemate. The only solution was to recognise both entrants for their fantastic work.

The full shortlist was: 

  • Christopher Shaw – Mahindra
  • Jannik Becker, General Motors
  • Paolo Liuzzi, SAIC
  • Thomas Lienhart, Zeekr
  • Robert Engelmann, Ford Design Europe
  • Tino Segui, JLR
  • Paul Piliste, Mahindra Design

Best Sketcher Award_CDN_PeopleAwards-9

Best UX Design Team – sponsored by Changan

This award looked at the user experience team that created an intuitive, technology-led and user-friendly experience.  Presenting the award was Oliver Samson, design director of Changan’s Deepal brand.

The winner was: Volvo Cars UX Team, Volvo Cars. 

The judges praised the intuitive design approach, describing it “user-friendly, clean, and clever… a great example of thoughtful Scandinavian design.”

The full shortlist included: 

  • Changan Global Design Center UX Design Team
  • MG UI/UX Design Team
  • Ford of Europe Commercial Vehicles UX team
  • Volvo Cars UX Team
  • JLR UI Design Team
  • Lotus / Gimlett-Taylor Design Creative
  • Harman

Best UX Team Volvo_CDN_PeopleAwards-12

Beyond Automotive Design

The winner of this category demonstrates “big picture thinking” considering issues such as holistic design, mobility-as-a-service, infrastructure, and accessibility. The award was presented by CDN editor James McLachlan.

The winner was: Jennifer M Kolstad from Ford Motor Company

As testified by her peers, Jennifer has established a global vision for environmental design, shaping the future of the workplace and rethinking the customer experience.

Honourable mentions went to Archer and Toyota Boshoku. 

The full shortlist was: 

  • Archer Innovation & Design Team
  • Jennifer Kolstad, Ford Motor Company
  • Hyundai Commercial Design Team
  • GAC Strategy Design Team
  • Toyota Boshoku Advanced Design Team

Jennifer M Kolstad Beyond Automotive_CDN_PeopleAwards-10

Challenging the Industry – sponsored by Volvo Cars

This award is for individuals or teams that show courage to challenge the status quo through innovation, visionary thinking and leadership.  Presenting the award was Lisa Reeves, head of interior design at Volvo.

The winner was: Patrick Jordan-Patrikios

Judges praised Patrick for infusing a “rock ‘n’ roll spirit” to car design and showcasing the value of music industry expertise in creating future vehicles.

An honourable mention went to the Polestar design team, which just missed out. 

The full shortlist was: 

  • Polestar Design Team
  • Patrick Jordan Patrikios
  • Hyundai ‘Sidestick’ Development Team
  • Lucid Motors

Patrick Patrikos_CDN_PeopleAwards-11

Design Educator of the Year – sponsored by Mahindra Design

This award is for someone who has inspired creative thinking among their students, and prepared them for the professional world of car design. Presenting the award was Cosimo Amadei from Mahindra Advanced Design Europe.

The winner was: Professor Dale Harrow, Royal College of Art. 

The judges had plenty of glowing remarks for Dale, who has played a vital role in the evolution of the RCA course. Dale is also acknowledged for his design vision, amiable personality and effective leadership.

Honourable mention went to Richard Gilmartin of Staffordshire University, who came extremely close. 

The full shortlist included: 

  • Dale Harrow, RCA
  • Kimberly Marte, ArtCenter College of Design
  • James Hope, China Academy of Art
  • Shaun Hutchinson, Coventry University
  • Richard Gilmartin, Staffordshire University

Dale Harrow_CDN_PeopleAwards-13

Most Supportive Design Leader – sponsored by Konzepthaus Consulting

This award is for a senior designer who has created a supportive and diverse working culture, inspiring their team to push the boundaries of automotive design.  Presenting the award was Martin Goschwald, CEO of Konzepthaus.

The winner was: Julian Thomson from General Motors Advanced Design Europe. 

Julian was commended for his inspirational leadership, fostering growth, camaraderie and inclusion within the workplace. 

The full shortlist included: 

  • Julian Thomson, GM Advanced Design Europe
  • Saurabh Singh, Maruti Suzuki India Studio
  • Carl Gotham, SAIC
  • Jorge Furuya, Volvo Cars
  • Mark Butler, JLR
  • JP Gregory, Lotus
  • Song Hyun, Hyundai Interior Design
  • Pratap Bose, Mahindra

Julian Thomson won Most Supportive Design Leader_CDN_PeopleAwards-14

Most Sustainable Design Team

This is for the design team who pushes the boundaries in terms of materials and engineering to slash their carbon footprint and offer scalable, real-world solutions. Presenting the award was James Muirhead, Sales Director from Bridge of Weir.

The winner was: the Citroen Oli Design Team

The judges applauded Citroën’s design team for their thoughtful and environmentally friendly design; however, they also appreciated how the team managed to keep things fun.

The full shortlist included: 

  • Mahindra Advanced Design Europe
  • Toyota/Lexus CMFX team Japan
  • JLR Clay Modelling Team
  • Volvo Design Team
  • Citroen Oli Design Team

20231207_CDN_PeopleAwards-3 Most Sustainable Design Team

Undiscovered Talent – sponsored by Bentley 

This award was to spotlight a rising star in the early stages of their design career. Presenting the award was Bentley design director, Robin Page.

The winner was: Swapnil Desai, Strate School of Design. 

The judges believed that Swapnil Desai presented a strong case for being this year’s undiscovered talent, showcasing high-quality work.

The full shortlist included: 

  • Zicheng Cui, Coventry University
  • Wang Xiqiao, Strate College
  • Reuben Roberts, Coventry
  • Richard Newman, RCA
  • Swapnil Desai, Strate Ecole de Design
  • Joshua Roberts, Coventry
  • Zhe Huang, Beihang University

Swapnil Desai from Strate School of Design won Undiscovered Talent award_CDN_PeopleAwards-16

Car Design Review 10 Concept Car Design of the Year 

This award went to the concept car design voted best of the year by the Car Design Review 10 judges. 

The winner was the Dacia Manifesto.

Concept Car of the Year Dacia CDN_PeopleAwards-18

Car Design Review 10 Production Car Design of the Year 

This award went to the production car design voted best of the year by the Car Design Review 10 judges. 

The winner was Polestar 4.

CDN_People Awards hero

Car Design Review 10 Lifetime Achievement Award 

This award recognises a legendary design figure who’s career in design has left a lasting legacy in the industry.

The winner was legendart General Motors designer Ed Welburn.

Ed Welburn lifetime achievement CDN_PeopleAwards-20


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