VX Collective lures ‘hot’ talent with bursary

Vauxhall is looking to breathe new life into its VX Collective by enticing new members with a £5000 ‘bursary’.

The General Motors-backed collective, which works on merchandising and advertising, is to be relaunched by Vauxhall in May. The car manufacturer says it hopes to beef up the group to ten members, though recently its numbers have been beginning to dwindle.

Currently, just four out of the original line-up of six members are actively working for the group. The current team includes: product designer Sam Buxton, film-maker Lucia Helenka, skateboarder Pete King and DJ Ross Allen.

James Thompson, VX racing driver, quit the collective towards the end of 2003 and, while fashion designer Giles Deacon has not officially left the group, he is currently focusing on developing his own career, according to a spokeswoman for VX Collective.

‘Vauxhall looks forward to working with him when suitable opportunities arise. However, at the moment he’s very busy with other projects, as his fashion career is now established. The nature of a collective is to be constantly evolving, so we’re hoping new members will bring fresh thinking that takes the collective in a new direction,’ she says.

Designers can apply to join the group on its website, www.vxcollective.co.uk. The deadline for entries is 10 April. Members will receive a £5000 bursary and receive funding to develop individual or team-based projects. Some of these concepts will go into production and be applied to Vauxhall merchandising. Previous designs include a multi-purpose coat hanger, designed by Buxton, and a skate installation also by Buxton, in collaboration with King.

‘The VX Collective reflects what we are about,’ said Vauxhall managing director Kevin Wale at its launch, ‘committed not only to producing cars which look and feel good, but also cars which inject excitement back into driving.’ The Collective’s members ‘will help us with their experiences and insight’, added Wale.

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