The winners were a team of industrial design students from Monash University – Chris Chan, Casey Phua and Yu Chen – for their concept entitled Vista. The winners fly to Paris this year to start a two-month fully paid internship at Alstom headquarters. 

Customer director for Alstom, Christophe Gourlay, said he was delighted with the winning design. “There is nothing predictable about design in Melbourne,” he said. “That is one of the things that are so unique and exciting about this city.”

“Vista reflects this. It is a bold design and the further you look the more surprises you find. The ideas for improved passenger safety in particular were quite revolutionary.”

The Vista concept features gel seats for passenger comfort and light projections assisting safer passenger exit. The illumination system projects a message onto the road to alert passengers and surrounding traffic that passengers are alighting. It could be the future face of Melbourne tram travel.

Soliciting ideas from young people was an important part of the competition. “We wanted to tap in to the vision of some of our most talented home-grown undergraduate students,” said Phil Terry, United Group’s business development manager.

“We are now seeing Melbourne and its future transport needs through the eyes of the next generation of industrial designers.”

Vista was selected from twenty-eight entries from Monash, RMIT and Swinburne Universities.

Students were asked to submit designs based on the existing structure of Melbourne’s tram network and infrastructure. Attention to Melbourne’s future social needs, including environmental sustainability issues and improved access for elderly and disabled commuters, was part of the brief.

A special innovation award was given to a team of RMIT students for their Atlas tram. The judges commented that this concept was fresh, playful and adventurous.

The judging panel included designer Xavier Allard, design and styling vice-president for Alstom in Paris; architect Jane Williams, principal Bligh Voller Nield Architecture; and representatives from Alstom, Yarra Trams, United Group Rail and ParaQuad Victoria.

Alstom’s transport division is among the world’s leading suppliers to the railway industry.  

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