Masterclass in Automotive Rendering at my Alma Mater

Recently, I had the honor of being invited by my alma mater, the George Enescu University of Fine Arts from Iasi, to teach a one-week workshop on car design to its industrial design students. This event was part of the Romanian Creative Week, an annual gathering that attracts creatives from all fields.

Car design master class with Andrei Avarvarii

Snapshots from our automotive rendering masterclass

A Lifelong Obsession With Cars

This experience was both fascinating and eye-opening for me. Those who know me are well aware of my lifelong obsession with cars. However, I usually try not to burden my friends and family with my car rants, as most of them aren't interested. Therefore, I had a lot of pent-up thoughts about cars, which I ended up sharing non-stop for five hours at a time during the workshop, much to the attendees' fatigue.

Personal exhibition at the Museum of Science and Technology, the Palace of Culture, Iasi

Personal exhibition at the Museum of Science and Technology, the Palace of Culture, Iasi

Why Do I Like Cars So Much?!

A recurring question throughout the week was, "Why? Why do I like cars so much?!" Strangely, I don't have a clear answer. I was born in Romania in 1981, behind the Iron Curtain, where cars were a rarity, limited to a few Dacias and the occasional Volga. None of my family members were, or are, interested in cars. So why do I have this obsession? It's been a lifelong mystery.

Flattered with media attention at Iasi TV Life

The Car Gods Also Chose Me?

During the creative week, I was interviewed by the Romanian National Television (TVR). Naturally, they asked me why I love cars so much. Lacking a clear explanation, the host suggested it might be a divine influence. This idea shocked me. I've never been religious, so I hadn't considered this perspective. Could it be that I was chosen by the Gods of the Automobile to carry this lifelong obsession? Until science provides a better explanation, I might have to concede that this could be the case. As a Mad Max War Boy would say, "Witness Me!!!"

Interview of the week at TVR Iasi

Debunking AI as a Creative Tool

One of the workshop themes was the emergence of AI as a creative tool. We debated whether AI is a friend or foe and discussed how to make it work for us, not against us. Machine learning is a remarkable technology, and its impact on visual arts will be as significant as the invention of photography on traditional painting. Photography didn't replace the best painters but made mediocre ones irrelevant. Similarly, the best AI results will come from talented artists.

AI as creative tool

Putting the "work" in "workshop"

Some Innovative Student Projects

During the workshop, students had four days to design a car, developing their ideas through sketches and renders. The students, ranging from first-year BAs to MAs, used various AI tools alongside traditional methods. I'm happy to report that everyone produced something impressive.

Student exhibition at the Museum of Science and Technology

Student exhibition at the Museum of Science and Technology

Standout Concept: Modern-Day Cinderella Carriage

The standout project was by a team of girls who designed a rental car for tourist destinations inspired by classic luxury horse carriages, reminiscent of Cinderella's ride. This concept could be a prime candidate for an autonomous vehicle, chauffeuring tourists in style.

Tripolo concept car

Tripolo concept car

Racing on the Moon: A Futuristic Concept

Another team designed a video-game car for a future where humans race on the Moon's surface, creating racing moon trucks optimized for long jumps in low gravity. How cool is that?

Selenaro concept car

Exploring the Limits of City Car Design

One team's effort to design the smallest city car imaginable was also noteworthy. They explored the absolute smallest footprint a car could have while still being considered a car, resulting in an innovative AR projecting bubble canopy design.

Bubl concept car

Bubl concept car

Personal Exhibition at The Museum of Science and Technology

The university also organized an exhibition of my work, showcasing 20 of my best cover illustrations from my 14-year career. This exhibition was held at the Museum of Science and Technology, part of the amazing Palace of Culture in Iasi, for two weeks. We also showcased the projects created during the workshop. To say I was flattered is an understatement. I never imagined this would be possible. When I started illustrating future cars for magazines, the job didn't even have a name. With all the recent attention, I've decided to call my work "Automotive Futurology." That's it, folks—I’m an automotive futurist.

Join the Conversation

If you have more questions about this topic, comments, or simply wish to discuss cars, feel free to get in touch and share your thoughts.