The Bright Design Challenge, now in its 11th year, is sponsored by the National Association for Surface Finishing, NASF. As in previous years, this year’s project challenged students at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Mich., to push the design envelope. The Transportation Design juniors who participated in this year’s Bright Design Challenge: “Loud Pipes & Chrome!” were tasked with developing a 2015 Harley-Davidson motorcycle concept that incorporates the innovative use of electroplated finishes.

First place and a $1,000 scholarship was awarded to Patrick Snow of Saginaw, Mich., who developed a commuter bike concept that embraces the essence of getting away without “getting away.” The light and agile bike included innovative features such as a fingerprint scan start, OLED screen, and detachable rear storage to make it more pleasing and usable for women.

Kelly Steiler, from Lake Orion, Mich., was awarded the second place $750 scholarship. Her concept was a lightweight and powerful bike designed for a young rider on a journey. The heart of this concept lies in its living surface finishes. Focusing on the rider and his/her interaction with the bike, flat matte, black chrome, heat-colored chrome and soft stitch leather are all incorporated in the design to transform with each mile.

Third place, a $250 scholarship, was awarded to Stephen Rapaski, of Clinton
Township, Mich., whose concept is a motorcycle designed for youth market. The
minimalistic design features the motor becoming the frame of the bike along with an integrated headlight and gauges, cutting down material usage and over all weight making the slingshot a very agile and light motorcycle.

The projects, judged by professionals from the finishing industry and the design studios of major automotive and motorcycle OEM’s, are scored on select criteria with special notice given to those that integrated the creative finishing features into the overall design of their concept. This year, with the support of Harley-Davidson, the students developed concepts that capture the spirit of today’s youth without compromising the essence of Harley-Davidson’s classic looks.


The Bright Design Challenge is a lively, spirited design competition that connects young designers with major OEM design studios such as Harley-Davidson Motor Co. and Ford Motor Co. The winners of the contest receive scholarships on behalf of the NASF as the competition challenges students to balance style and function. The Challenge has promoted and encouraged the use of chrome and electroplated finishes within the transportation industry since 1999.

Mike Kuntz, vice president of operations, Kuntz Electroplating, Inc., and co-creator of the competition, cited both the educational and promotional aspects of the Bright Design Challenge, particularly as it relates to the surface finishing industry. “The Bright Design Challenge was created to help educate these young, talented, future transportation designers and stylists about the benefits and flexibility of surface finishing and electroplated surfaces,” he said.

A special thank you goes to the sponsors who make the Bright Design Challenge program possible. Sponsors of the 2010 Bright Design Challenge include the following:

Harley-Davidson Motor Co.

Kuntz Electroplating
KCH Engineered Systems

Uyemura USA

Michigan Metal Finishers Association