Lexus Design Award 2021 finalists Solar

Lexus Design Awards 2021 won by Portable Solar Distiller

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Henry Glogau has been announced as the winner of the Lexus Design Award 2021 with his portable solar water distiller system concept.

The Portable Solar Distiller uses sunlight to produce clean drinking water from polluted or sea water. Merging local resources with community architecture, this low-tech solution also serves as a shaded gathering place.

Glogau, from New Zealand, took the prize from among 2,079 entries received for this year’s competition, from 66 countries worldwide.

Chosen as the project that best met the Design for a Better Tomorrow criteria, based on the three key principles of the Lexus brand – Anticipate, Innovate and Captivate –  Glogau, who recently graduated from the Royal Danish Academy in Copenhagen, had worked with Lexus assigned mentors to develop his concept as part of the design competition’s stages.

“[The mentors] expertise in a variety of fields really strengthened us as designers. It’s incredible to be part of a prestigious award with a company that is truly passionate about Design for a Better Tomorrow, and which gives up-and-coming designers a solid foundation to build their design futures on,” said Glogau.

After the selection of the Grand Prix winner, Judge Greg Lynn, commented: “The competition format worked so well and provided mentorship and resources that let great ideas flourish.

“Henry Glogau was one of the designers who surprised me the most, from his original application to the final submission. His consistent mission persisted, while the transformation in scale and social function was exemplary.


“The design became more refined, more functional and more open source during the process. The ability to produce working prototypes was important to all the participants but to the winner it pointed towards the manifold potential of the system that became much more than just a product or appliance but instead a portable, deployable infrastructure.”

The six finalists, selected in January this year, were mentored by Joe Doucet, Sabine Marcelis, Mariam Kamara, and Sputniko!, who helped guided them through any challenges on the way to producing refined prototypes of their design submissions.

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