We couldn’t know that Ferdinand Porsche, the 911's designer, would pass away even as we were getting entries in our call for designs inspired by 911. But perhaps it was a fitting tribute that we got over 400 entries, picking out details of the 911 that you’d have to be a true fan to notice. His designs inspired a fervor that few designers ever have. As the AP reported when the latest 911 was introduced: "The new version was mobbed and groped when it was unveiled in September at the Frankfurt auto show. Showgoers left the doors and roof smeared with fingerprints as they scrambled for a chance to sit behind the wheel." All that, while remaining true to the lines and spirit that Porsche originally laid out. Ferdinand Porsche created a true design classic.
So I’ll admit that I was a bit terrified by the entire prospect of our Porsche Next Design Challenge. Initially, the plan was to have an invitational design competition: We’d invite only a few top designers whose work we trusted, and have them riff on products inspired by the 911. But that didn’t seem right. We figured: Who’d want to see a bunch of design hot shots get even more attention? It seemed a far better idea to engage you, our readers, and invite you to do the designing.
The only problem was that we had no idea what we’d get. Would the entries be embarrassing? Would there be anything good? It was a bit of a gamble. And one that I’m happy to say paid off, because the entries you guys submitted were superb. These ranged from a razor that looks like a Porsche’s gas pedal to a ski helmet inspired by the orange 911 pictured in our first post about the contest.[caption]A razor that nods to the brake pedal and actuator, and the door handle of the 911.
So here they are: The first 12 of the Top 25. We’ll announce the rest next week, and as I type this, our panel of judges—Dror Benshetrit, Jens Martin Skibsted, and Grant Larson, Porsche’s current chief exterior designer—is combing over those entries, to determine a Top 7, which we will announce soon. (The slides you see above are presented in no particular order.) After that, entrants will get a chance to refine their designs and then we’ll announce a winner. (The Top 7 will each receive $1,500. The winner will get a one-year lease on a 911 or $20,000.) Thank you to everyone who entered, and thank you for reading! Enjoy the work above.
Image of F.A. Porsche: Porsche via European Pressphoto Agency