Lucid Designer Derek Jenkins Inspires AAU Sudents to Reimagine Future

Lucid ‘Car of the Future’ concept design by Academy of Art School of Industrial Design Student Jiachen (Justin) Xu (CNW Group/Academy of Art University)

The Academy of Art University School of Industrial Design (AAU) proudly announces an innovative collaboration with pioneering luxury electric car maker Lucid aimed at encouraging the next generation of designers to reimagine the future of mobility.

The 90-day project, overseen by senior members of Lucid’s award-winning design team, challenges Academy of Art students to conceive designs that transcend traditional notions of mobility. Students are encouraged to explore everything from tangible enhancements to existing Lucid products to the creation of new, future-focused designs and concepts that reimagine driving.

As part of their work, students are challenged to create unique shapes or service functions that set their creations apart while considering the environmental impact of these decisions. Sustainability is a core criterion, with a mandate to use environmentally friendly materials and technologies, aligning with Lucid’s strong commitment to sustainable practices within all areas of its car design and manufacturing process.

“We wholeheartedly believe in the transformative power of young, creative minds in pushing the boundaries of creative innovation,” said Derek Jenkins, SVP of Design and Brand, Lucid. “This collaboration is a testament to our commitment to harnessing this energy and creativity. By challenging students to reimagine the future of mobility, we can unlock exciting new ideas in vehicle design, functionality, and sustainability, ensuring that we continue to lead in the creation of cutting-edge, luxury electric vehicles.” 

Through this strong ongoing collaboration, former Academy of Art University faculty members and graduates have gone on to careers at Lucid, underscoring the quality of education and real-world training provided by the School of Industrial Design. Career designer, Jenny Ha, previously taught at the University while concurrently being a senior member of the design team behind the award-winning Lucid Air, as well as designers Sean Wilson and Roberto Bautista who are graduates of the industrial design program.

Academy of Art University maintains a strong commitment to hiring industry professionals able to impart real-world industry insight to students. The University is dedicated to building local talent in the Bay area and, through fostering collaborative relationships with leading organizations like Lucid, continuing to grow the pool of skilled professionals within the community.

“Collaborating with a brand like Lucid offers our students an unparalleled opportunity to apply their creativity and design skills to real-world challenges at the forefront of automotive innovation,” said Antonio Borja, Director of the Academy of Art School of Industrial Design. “It’s hugely beneficial for future designers to engage directly with industry leaders that are redefining the standards of luxury, technology, and sustainability in auto design. This partnership not only enriches our curriculum but also prepares our students to be industry-ready, imbuing them with a mindset that values innovation, practical problem-solving, and the importance of sustainability.”

Lucid representatives will visit the Academy of Art during several key stages of the program, engaging directly with students and providing valuable insights and feedback on developing concepts. Final end-of-semester presentations will include design concepts demonstrated in clay models and 3D printed prototypes, all of which will be evaluated and rated by members of the Lucid design team.

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About Academy of Art University

Established in 1929, Academy of Art University is one of the largest private, accredited art and design schools in the nation. As one of the oldest art schools located in San Francisco, the epicenter of culture and technology, Academy of Art University offers more than 129 accredited degree programs—available online and on-campus—spanning 70 areas of study, including entertainment arts, advertising, fashion, architecture, game development, music, communications, photography, and more.