Lexus Design Award 2021 finalists Solar

Lexus Design Award 2021 finalists announced

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Lexus has announced the six finalists for its Lexus Design Award 2021, selected from 2,079 entries submitted by creators across 66 countries.

This year marks the ninth edition of the Lexus Design Award, which supports up-and-coming creative talent whose ideas embody the three principles of the Lexus brand – Anticipate, Innovate, and Captivate – with an emphasis on design that leads to a better tomorrow.

Greg Lynn, Lexus Design Award judge and CEO of Boston-based robotics company Piaggio Fast Forward, said: “In the middle of a changing climate and a global pandemic there was an urgency to the problems being addressed by the designers… and there was also a humanity and intimate scale.”

Lexus Design Award 2021 Finalists

CY-BO – a sustainable, reusable packaging material, inspired by cell biology, by Kenji Abe (Japan)

Kenji Abe is a graduate of the Tama Art University Product Design Department, now working as a product designer, based in Tokyo.

Heartfelt – a device that delivers virtual hugs, long-distance, helping to overcome the anxiety and emotional stress of being alone, by Gayle Lee and Jessica Vea (New Zealand and Tonga, based in New Zealand)

Gayle Lee and Jessica Vea are recent Bachelor of Creative Technologies graduates from Auckland University of Technology.


InTempo – mitts that use rhythm and music to distract from stressful situations, by Alina Holovatiuk (Ukraine)

Alina Holovatiuk is a young architect from Kiev who is currently continuing her studies and research at Kiev National University of Construction and Architecture.

Lexus Design Award 2021 finalists KnitX
KnitX digital knitting technology can produce textiles that respond to touch, sound or visual stimuli

KnitX – digital 3D knitting of functional, electronic textiles that can respond to visual, auditory, and tactile stimuli, changing their appearance, and providing temperature regulation, by Irmandy Wicaksono (Indonesia, based in USA)

Irmandy Wicaksono is an electrical and textile engineer and designer and is currently a PhD student in the Responsive Environments, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab.

Solar Desalination Skylight [Main Image] – a device that uses seawater to emit natural diffused light, to make drinking water, and to produce energy from leftover salt, by Henry Glogau (Dual New Zealand and Austria, based in Denmark)

Henry Glogau is a New Zealander who recently graduated from the Royal Danish Academy in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Terracotta Valley Wind – a terracotta evaporative cooling system for subway stations, using the wind created by trains, by Intsui Design (China, based in Japan)

Intsui Design is a design group based in Tokyo, consisting of Chenkai Guo, Baohua Sheng, Yilei Lyu, Yu Zhang, who are currently pursuing Masters degrees at Tama Art University’s Integrated Design department.

Lexus Design Award 2021 finalists Terracotta_Valley_Wind
Cooling humid subway stations with a terracotta evaporative cooling system design that uses the wind generated by the trains

The six finalists are being mentored by designers Joe Doucet, Sabine Marcelis, Mariam Kamara, and Sputniko!.

All six recently attended a five-day virtual workshop to help them produce a prototype of their ideas with a budget of 3,000,000 yen (approx. £21,000) per project.

Mentor Mariam Kamara, commented: “I’ve been struck by the level of optimism and commitment the finalists have shown in their designs. In this new COVID-19 reshaped world, their visions and sensitivity are a gift to us all.

“Each one of them was incredibly passionate about the projects and demonstrated a strong motivation to delve deeper and do the necessary research to strengthen the final result. I look forward to seeing where they take their designs in the coming months.”

The judging panel of design industry figures – including Paola Antonelli, Dong Gong, Greg Lynn and Simon Humphries – will select the Grand Prix Winner based on the six finalists’ final prototypes and presentations in April 2021.

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