Formula-e project is designed to teach lessons in strategy, product development, science, engineering, design fabrication, branding and event planning. Students also learn about competition, working in teams, setting goals, and implementing plans that meet them. The vehicles are created with the latest computer design and rapid prototyping tools with advanced materials and mechanisms that rapidly accelerate them to speeds over 25mph.In addition to the design and fabrication of the vehicle, student teams will develop their team brand and design graphic collateral to promote their teams. Teams will also develop collaborative partnerships with local non-profit organizations.
“Of all the advanced pedagogical methods that ACCD’s Grad ID has to offer – Formula E is at the pinnacle. Never has such a deceptively simple challenge left so many accomplished designers naked on race day. When it’s your team’s turn, either that artifact has solved for the demands of the proposed complex problem or it hasn’t…let alone ‘Does the thing compete?’ In total: 14 weeks plus 16 feet of rubber band equals a masterful simulation of industry.” – Philip Keller (GradID 12)
“As designers we often fixate on what should be- it’s our super power- the things that enable us to see opportunities where others see only problems. But we must also never lose sight of validating our ideas–Formula E is where the rubber (band) hits the road. It keeps us honest by forcing us to make decisions, put a stake in the ground, commit to our theories and test them so they can be challenged, debunked, abandoned or improved. It’s R&D at its finest- impossible, exhausting and full of ah-ha moments- if you’re lucky you’ll win a few bucks and escape with most of your fingers intact- if not, you’ll still be glad you did it.” – Zach Schlossberg (GradID 16)
It was one of the greatest learning experiences and transitions into the ArtCenter lifestyle anyone can ask for. Being thrown into the fire is sometimes the best way to learn”. -Gary Cheung
“Formula E was the beginning of my Artcenter education, the program broadened my sight in the industrial design realm and inspired me to become a designer that make things work.”-Sonia Lui
“Some experiences are so meaningful that they transcend beyond the project, for me formula-e created a friendship between the GradID students and I that I still cherish years after the race has been over”. – Daniel Smitisan
“Formula-e gave me initiative—it’s what really jumpstarted my career as a designer and professional worker.” – Justin Kim
“Formula e was an incredible opportunity for me to learn from a community of world-class designers and to build lifelong relationships.” – Justin Babikian
In 2011, Grad ID collaborated with Pasadena City College’s product design program in an experiment to partner private and public education. The project began with teaming a community college student with graduate level students on each Formula e team. This fostered “mentor/mentee” relationships between the student participants and elevated their learning experiences beyond typical classroom projects. Since then, the competition has opened up to other schools and have had participants from Pasadena City College’s Design Tech Program, Cal State Long Beach, and Mt. San Antonio College and each year there are 5 winner teams from Chinese universities will join formulae US.
Mattel Hot Wheels and Axial Racing have competed in the “Pro” category with a team from Honda participating in 2016 and 2017.