behind the scenes of the success of designboom's RENAULT 4 ever competition
behind the scenes of the success of designboom's RENAULT 4 ever competition behind the scenes of the success of designboom's RENAULT 4 ever competition
jan 11, 2012

behind the scenes of the success of designboom's RENAULT 4 ever competition




last march, designboom in collaboration with RENAULT asked the world to redesign the iconic RENAULT 4, with an eye towards both contemporary, futuristic styling and economic sustainability.


3273 designers from 92 different countries participated, and in october, three winners were chosen and awarded at a special ceremony in paris. RENAULT was on hand to record every step of the way: traveling among new york, paris, london, and milan to take you through the design process, jury selection, and the final award announcement for the heavily followed competition, and they’ve just released the video for all to see.


you might want to read what THE NEW YORK TIMES reported.


the results? london-based designer mark cunningham, who won first place for his design ‘r4volution‘, called winning the award one of the best three moments of his life. RENAULT looks forward to developing its own vehicles with the same energy as the winning entries, with– to borrow the words of RENAULT’s vice president of design laurens van den acker– ‘one foot in the past, one foot in the future.‘


travel to designboom’s office in milan, or join RENAULT, designboom, and the winners and jurors at the awards event in paris. take a look at the london metro where cunningham first sketched his first-prize-winning design on the way to work; hear what question led second-place team yann terrer and jerome garzone to design their innovative ‘r4 rally‘; or learn what struck third-prize winner allen zadeh as the most interesting part of his experience developing his ‘eleve‘ concept. are you curious about which feature among the shortlisted entries is the top pick of jury member maï ikuzawa, designer and daughter of the famed japanese auto racer? check it all out in the official behind-the-scenes video below!




in case you missed it on designboom: view the full competition results, see more coverage from the awards ceremony, or read the original call for entries.

first-place winner mark cunningham won the RENAULT 4 driven by former formula 1 driver michel leclère in the 2011 historic ralley monte-carlo

  • Nice video, congrats to the 3 winners.

    Emilio says:
  • What a deal for Renault: for the price of a Renault 4 (quite nice though!), 3273 ideas!!!
    Not bad for a company whose latest production models are quite… lame (to put it in a nice way).
    The real winner was Renault’s marketing department: congratulations to them for this amazing operation.
    I hope they can put all the best ideas together and come with a new R4 as good as the original.

    mscx says:
  • This was Renault’s first front-wheel-drive car.

    Fan says:
  • I don’t agree with mscx, Renault is continuously evolving, mainly with their zero emission cars. The all electric concept car [url=] ZOE [/url] already shows similar features. The design started in 2009 and production will be in 2012!

    Sebastian Harley says:
  • it’s fail anyway

    miffo says:
  • Am I the only one who thinks that the winner\’s design looks so much like a SUV?… I\’m not thrilled to see these new large cars in towns, so far from the original tiny light and bouncing R4 (I owned 2 myself). It\’s hard to imagine rich people (I don\’t imagine this car being cheap) driving around in a car that was originally made for the mass, like the VW Beetle (whose redesign is a disaster too, to my mind…).
    Ok, it\’s electrical and recyclable, but I don\’t think that encouraging people to buy large SUV-styled cars is the best idea of the century.
    The second one in the competition was way more inventive…

    Geoffroy says:
  • Don\’t know why Designboom censored my comment…
    The text should be:
    \”What a deal for Renault: for the price of a Renault 4 (quite nice though!), 3273 ideas!!! (AND THE BEST ONES TO PUT IN PRODUCTION WEREN\’T EVEN PUBLISHED – AS YOU MIGHT SEE ON A QUICK SEARCH ON THE WEB…).
    Not bad for a company whose latest production models are quite… lame (to put it in a nice way).
    The real winner was Renault\’s marketing department: congratulations to them for this amazing operation.
    I hope they can put all the best ideas together and come with a new R4 as good as the original.\”

    mscx says:
  • @Geoffroy
    Some say Renault\’s idea is to mount the new R4 on Dacia Duster\’s chassis… so it will become some sort of Skoda Yeti or even bigger…
    I agree with you about the second prize winner: way more creative!

    mscx says:
  • @mscx
    Oh, bad news about R4 on Dacia Duster\’s chassis!
    Could you give me some links about this information?

    This model (Dacia Duster) is trying to make belive poor people can afford cheap SUV looking like cheap 4×4, you should see those arrogant people driving in France\’s streets and freeways… a disaster!

    I naively thought governments and car manufacturers were trying to make some efforts to encourage people not to buy a 4×4 car for the first choice, because of the CO2 emissions, etc. I guess that China is a great market up to come though, I don\’t want to think about all these people willing so hard to buy a brand new SUV.
    Could you give me some links about this information?
    Glad that you agree with me for the second choice. Too bad we weren\’t in the jury. ^^

    Geoffroy says:
  • Some interesting proposals (with some nice ideas to be put in production) but not shortlisted…

    (to be continued)

    mscx says:
  • The designs themselves aside, I give props to Renault for the making-of video, I entered this competition but was not shortlisted but actually it\’s really nice to watch this and see a little bit of the behind the scenes of the decision and also the winners\’ making-ofs. So thanks. Also congrats to the winners!

    Tim says:
  • I was shortlisted but I still have a couple of things to say about this:

    1-First off, Renault LIED to us, pretending they were choosing the winner out of the 50 shortlisted while the 10 published articles were in fact not randomly chosen but another shortlist of 10.

    2-Of the 3 winners, the 3rd and second do not really meet the least production criteria; most obviously, the second can be accidentally set on fire with a cigarette or lighter, or torn to pieces with a sharp edge. And the winner brings really nothing new; you can virtually change the engine of any car in the world.

    Thank you renault, for giving us another Peugeot Design Contest :/

    m25 says:
  • Cool video however…

    m25 says:
  • dear m25,

    we just wanted to address the first of your notes:
    the 10 published articles were indeed randomly selected from among the 50 shortlisted entries.
    our editors were not even informed by RENAULT of the winning designs until the same day
    as the rest of the world, when we published the award results.

    designboom says:
  • well i am not really anyone but i just wanted to address the second of m25’s notes: that thing about the 2nd place winner is also true of soft-top convertibles which doesn’t stop most people from buying them if they want. i actually liked the 2nd place design the best. and re: the 1st place, yeah you can change the engine of most cars but it’s a mess, it IS something diffferent that this one is built into the design. i think more than one of the shortlist people thought of this, and for all of them i think it is smart.

    rio says:
  • Thank you for the clarification db, it was just a bit odd that all the three of the winners were from this random selection of ten though.
    @ rio: I appreciate the originality of all the shortlisted and also non-shortlisted works, but unlike common object design, car design follows some tighter rules and principles, which a jury composed mostly of automotive professionals, asking for a PRODUCTION aimed concept should know very well. All 3 the winners have severe design flaws pointed put in the respective articles, ranging from Hummer proportions to unlikely materials. And personally, building into the design something that is already BUILT INTO the design, I don\’t really call that an idea,… much less a winning idea.
    This is of course, my personal opinion, which I am thankful to db I can express, and I am also thankful to them about all the excellent job done on this contest. for those who might be curious, this is my entry: [url= [/url]

    m25 says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

design news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
502,531 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample