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Kia Motors Chief Design Officer, Peter Schreyer, has become only the third automotive designer to receive an Honorary Doctorate from the Royal College of Art (RCA) in the United Kingdom in recognition of his contribution to automotive design.
The RCA, the UK's pre-eminent school of art and design, awards its honorary doctorates sparingly. Peter Schreyer joins Italian styling studio creators and legendary car designers Sergio Pininfarina and Giorgetto Giugiaro on a list of recipients which reads like a who's who of art and design.
As Chief Design Officer, Peter Schreyer has been driving the future design direction of Kia, one of the world's fastest growing automakers. Appointed in September 2006, Mr Schreyer is behind the stunning ex_cee'd cabrio concept car shown by Kia at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year.
Presenting Peter Schreyer with the doctorate, the RCA's Professor Dale Harrow said, "The Honorary Doctorate is the highest award that the RCA can bestow and is given to individuals that have contributed significantly to their subject.
"In Peter Schreyer's case, it is a recognition of the outstanding contribution that Peter has made and the enormous amount of influence he has on modern car design and on students at the RCA. Peter's controlled and intellectual approach to car styling has redefined the car for the 21st century."
Schreyer said, "I am very proud and delighted to be honored by the Royal College. It has a world-renowned tradition for encouraging the finest work and among its honorary doctors are some of the greatest names in the art and design world. To be included amongst them is possibly the greatest accolade I could wish for.
"This only serves to encourage me to produce the very best work of my career for Kia. Kia has given me the opportunity to shape its whole brand design and character, and seldom does a designer have such a clean sheet to work with. We have already started this journey with ex_cee'd to show just where we might go, and at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September I think we will surprise the entire automotive world with what we are planning for Kia's future."
Peter Schreyer, 53, was born in Bad Reichenhall, Bavaria. He studied Industrial Design at the Fachhochschule in Munich. Winning a scholarship from Audi, he studied transportation design at the Royal College of Art in 1979/80. Returning to his native Germany, he joined Audi in 1980 and continued to work at Audi and Volkswagen for the next 25 years, producing designs for vehicles such as the Audi TT and the new VW Beetle. He left VW group to join Kia in the newly created position of Chief Design Officer in mid-2006.
The awarding of RCA honours have acknowledged since 1967 the talents and creativity of a broad spectrum of people working in a wide variety of areas. The 136 previous recipients include Giorgio Armani (fashion designer), Sir David Attenborough (TV producer and environmental campaigner), Umberto Eco (philosopher and novelist), Lord Norman Foster (architect), David Hockney (painter and artist), David Lynch (film director), Issey Miyake (fashion designer), Miuccia Prada (fashion designer), Martin Scorsese (film director) and Saul Steinberg (cartoonist, The New Yorker).
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