The Lexus Design Award 2016 is the 4th round of the annual international design competition targeting up-and-coming creators from around the world whose work contributes to shaping a better future.
The award is a unique opportunity for four of the selected finalists to work with globally recognized designers as mentor, with their design prototypes exhibited at Milan Design Week, one of the largest design events in the world.
Read more about the activities that make up the Lexus Design Award below or about previous years' Lexus Design Awards and Lexus Design Events at Milan.
“…anticipating the needs of people and society.”
The theme for 2016 was Anticipation. At Lexus, we strive to develop products and services by anticipating the needs of people and society. Applicants were encouraged to submit innovative designs and unique interpretations that are true to the essence of the theme.
Follow the timeline of events for the Lexus Design Award 2016 event from the invitation for applications through to the Grand Prix selection at Milan Design Week.
Out of the 1,232 works submitted from 73 countries, 12 entries were chosen. 4 of these finalists produced prototypes of their designs under the mentorship of globally recognized creators. These prototypes were then featured as part of the Lexus exhibition at this year's Milan Design Week, along with panel presentations from the other 8 finalists.
Of the 4 finalists, AMAM was awarded the Grand Prix winner of the Lexus Design Award 2016 for their prototype, AGAR PLASTICITY.
AGAR PLASTICITY is a project exploring how agar, a gelatinous material obtained from marine algae, can be used as an environmentally friendly packaging material alternative to plastic.
"Seaweed-derived agar is traditionally consumed as food in Japan, and used in scientific and medical fields worldwide. Sold in a dry state, agar shows porous, feathery structure and is very light despite its volume. We have taken notice of these features and have been exploring its possibility as packaging material. Goods are usually shipped wrapped in plastic materials. Once unwrapped, they soon become waste or are collected to be recycled. Considering the raw materials and energy for processing, this situation is undesirable. Anticipating effective and sustainable utilization of natural resources has become more and more indispensable. Believing biodegradable substitutes to plastics are needed, we took this opportunity to tackle this seemingly ignored problem. Agar can be extracted by boiling specific kinds of red algae and then dehydrating the soup. Its resultant state depends on the ways of dehydration, and the types of red algae. For a soft cushioning structure, it's frozen, for stiff film-like state, it's compressed. Because agar is also moldable, it was proposed not only as a cushioning material, but also as packaging material. We have also explored the possibility of an agar-derived plastic material. After use, agar products can be disposed of in an environmentally-friendly way. It can serve as a material to improve the water-retention property of soil, and should it drift in the sea, it would not harm marine lives."
AMAM Kosuke Araki, Noriaki Maetani, Akira Muraoka JAPAN
AMAM is a design group formed in 2015 by Kosuke Araki, Noriaki Maetani and Akira Muraoka who studied at Product Design Department, Tama Art University during same period. Also, Araki (Design Products) and Maetani (Innovation Design Engineering) have acquired MA at Royal College of Art in the same year.
BEHIND THE SCENES
AGAR PLASTICITY is a project exploring how agar, a gelatinous material obtained from marine
algae, can be used as an environmentally friendly packaging material alternative to plastic.
DADA is a block toy which can be freely combined using bands, holes, and pegs to stimulate each child's imagination.
"Children have wild imagination, so every child has their own unique world. They tell their stories with passion. Toys are products they can use to express their world. But existing toy blocks have fixed forms and standardized connecting structures. They limit children's imagination. What if children could make toy creatures using various blocks that correspond to their anticipation? They would create works that reflect their inner self using unique colors and shapes. DADA blocks develop children's sensibility. Familiar objects can be connected through banding, putting in the holes, allowing children to create whatever they want and choose their own combination methods. A roll-up bag makes it easy for them to bring the blocks outside. They can simply unfold the bag to play. DADA is a simple block kit. But it can be turned into various forms with the children's anticipation. Children choose various blocks to create various objects. The blocks can also help them anticipate the future."
Myungsik Jang KOREA
Designer Myungsik Jang pursues natural shapes and flexible views. He is inspired from things surrounding him like nature and animals. He wants to tell stories through his work involving vitality. His work is based on craft and bricolage designs.
BEHIND THE SCENES
Shape Shifters is a special cut of garment, applying modular principles to textiles, which allows creating different outfits.
"Currently, fashion houses showcase four to six collections annually, with various offerings throughout each collection displaying redundancy in fabrication and silhouette, led me to question how to innovate within this realm; anticipating development of intelligent and adaptable construction that embeds shape change. Building upon my MA in Material Futures from Central Saint Martins, as a platform for exploration, Shape Shifters displays how modular principles can create dynamic garments with embedded silhouette versatility. Specifically, focus is placed on the linking of modular components via hinge-based systems. This provides the wearer freedom to configure the garment's silhouette based on style preference. I believe this will enrich people's lives by providing an adaptable garment that will serve a variety of purposes; minimizing consumption whilst maximizing individuality. Specifically, the garment system evokes a sense of play, while offering active participation in design and encouraging positive self-image. My technical background in Fashion Design [B. Des (Hons) from Ryerson University [Canada]]. Throughout the research and development of the project, traditional construction techniques were utilized via industrial machinery. Adobe platforms were explored to develop laser cut files for initial prototypes. Sampling also included the use of Stratasys PolyJet 3D printing technology, where multi-materials of various rigidities were utilized to test if the textile could be printed in one process and remove the assembly component of the procedure. The project's main discovery was that 3d printing technology is not a suitable replacement for the ‘textile,’ as friction at hinge points impaired movability in even the most flexible 3d print materials available today. This discovery led me back to more traditional methods for the full-scale initial prototypes, where the intersection of natural and man-made materials, followed by passive hinge systems allowed for silhouette variability and comfort on the body."
Angelene Laura Fenuta CANADA
Angelene Laura Fenuta, founded ANGELËNE in 2015, during her Masters in Material Futures at Central Saint Martins. Her practice interrogates fashion, while attempting to discover a more 'sustainable' option. ANGELËNE builds upon core female wardrobe components, while being inspired by architectural construction and 18th century aristocratic dress. Her work has since been featured in FRAME magazine.
BEHIND THE SCENES
Trace is a clock that uses a liquid with UV rays and discoloration properties, allowing us to visualize the passing time.
"Anticipation is about our expectation of the future. Every second that passes is an opportunity to affect this path before us, yet in this fast paced society, how many of us take action? When we considered the theme of anticipation, we were naturally drawn to the concept of time. ‘Trace’ is a clock that uses UV light to invoke a color change within a transparent photochromic solution. Every second, minute and hour is marked by a UV light beam that rotates around the face of the clock. This UV light triggers the photochromic change, leaving a trace of color as time sweeps by. This solution fades back to transparent after around 60 seconds, leaving a trail that completely erases itself. ‘Trace’ is about visualizing the present moment. There is anticipation in the color change of the liquid, and anticipation in how it fades away. And if the future is based on our past, our anticipation for change should drive us to action in the present. ‘Trace’ is a reminder that in order to create the future that we anticipate, we must act towards it."
STUDIO AYASKAN Begum Ayaskan, Bike Ayaskan UK
Begum and Bike Ayaskan are a twin designer duo based in London with a passion to explore the relation between nature, humans, and objects. Their vision is to bring people closer to nature and nature closer to design, and to create dynamic pieces that change and evolve with time.
BEHIND THE SCENES
These 8 entries were selected from the Finalist Screening Session and will have their work displayed at Milan Design Week in panel displays.
PLANTS-SKIN is a planter made of a colored mortar and special ink that visualizes the timing for watering plants.
"How do people anticipate things? One day, I realized that I am naturally 'anticipating' when I grow plants. Plants need water and I was anticipating the timing at which I should water them depending on how moist soil was. With a focus on this behavior, I tried to propose a new relationship between humans and plants by designing a planter that plants would absolutely need. With this planter, people can actually see if the plants need water. PLANTS-SKIN was created using a moderately permeable planter made from a colored mortar. This was then coated with hydro-chromic ink. When the surface absorbs water, the white ink becomes transparent and colors appear. The levels of dryness and moisture are represented as beautiful color gradations on the surface of the planter. It's almost like listening to them breathe. Through this interaction, we realize we unconsciously anticipate and make decisions. If it's windy outside and have an umbrella, we realize we might need rain boots. This behavior is not triggered by something obvious like the weather forecast but comes from natural human behavior requiring some creativity. Watering plants is something people have been doing for a long time. However, looking at traces of the past is necessary to anticipate the future. Perhaps looking back is what makes this ability possible."
Hiroto is a Spatial Designer based in Tokyo, Japan, working on Art Direction and Design for commercial spaces. His focus is the ideas of ‘changes’, ‘movements’ and ‘time’ in the space to create aesthetic designs from both modern and the analog approaches.
Project Play is a first-of-its-kind lamp powered by wireless technology and realized through the creation of magnetic rubber.
"Project Play is composed of a series of table lamps, with each object made by a standalone machine. Aiming to create new value between object and user, honest focus and magnification is put on the manufacturing process. Geometrically simple but materially complex; their value aims to be enhanced through long term interaction with carefully select and playful material properties. ‘In anticipation of technology to come’. The head of the lamp, where the light source is contained, is wirelessly powered via resonant inductive coupling, a technology not yet widely implemented. A journey into material experimentation drove the direction of the project.
Throughout the design process, a multitude of materials and techniques were tested with focus on the creation of something new; ending in the creation of a magnetic rubber. Founded through a blend of ferrous powder and silicone, the magnetic material forms the body of the lamps. With a magnet encased inside the head of the lamp, it is then to able to be positioned freely around the body, benefitting an engagement of playful interaction between user and object. The wireless power allows the light to be on whilst it is magnetically attached to the body, and off when not attached. "
Oliver Staiano is a London based designer. With unwavering passion for materiality, Staiano employs an explorative and experimental approach to materials alongside meticulous thought in order to bring a joyful innovation into the objects he creates.
aniknown is a creation of clothes for six types of animal, choosing the materials according to each one's features, behaviour and habitat.
"Clothes for animals designed according to their habitats and behavior. Materials were chosen according to the animals’ features, behavior and habitat to create six types of clothes for animals. For example, I used linen which breathes well and wicks away moisture for Asian elephants because they are sensitive to heat. They also have sensitive skin so I used vegetable dyes that repel insects. For mountain gorillas which live in high-altitude forests, I designed a lined coat to keep them warm. It's also a bolero coat that's open in the chest area so that they can easily beat their chest. For sloths that are preyed upon by eagles known for their excellent eye sight, I used batik so that they can camouflage themselves. When we say “clothes” we think of T-shirts and jeans. In other words, when we see these, we automatically know they’re clothes. However, what about this work? It's make from fabric, there are sleeves, it's symmetrical so it has all the elements that tell us it's a piece of clothing. However, from its size and shape, it's not the usual piece of clothing. If the clothing is this big, how big is the body? How long is the neck? How are the feet? I want people to have fun imagining what kind of animal each clothing belongs too, as if they discover the bones of an unknown animal. They can anticipate the type of animal through the work."
After graduating from Tokyo University of the Arts, Department of Design, is currently studying mainly product design at the same university.
Bio – Vide is a product, such as tables or envelopes, designed using fallen leaves. It is a visualization of the concept that all things return to earth.
"There should be a close connection between each process but we don't see it. In modern society, everything is systematically divided, causing us to not see things as being part of a whole. With large quantities of single products, we just assume there is a “next” step. However, we don't think about where things come from, how they are processed and what happens after we throw them away. There is a sense of transience and feeling of sadness when things reach an end. I feel there is something important there that cannot be expressed in words, so I’ve decided to express it through my work “Bio-Vide.” I designed an envelope where the part we tear is made of fallen leaves. This is an envelope that allows people to actually feel the end of a thing when performing the action of tearing. By incorporating a natural material into a standardized envelope, I was able to add feelings into an ordinary activity. I combined fallen leaves and resin through hot-press. For the fallen leaves’ board, I think people can visually understand the concept that, although not as strong as plywood, it will eventually return to the earth. The fallen leaves are composed mainly of cellulose, hemicellulose polysaccharide, lignin, resin, and carbonyl, which are similar to elements found in wood. Even for plywood, people used to use hide glue to stick things together. In terms of returning to earth, if we look further into resin, we discover lignin-based adhesive resin and polylactic resin. I think we can used these to create even more environmentally friendly materials."
After graduating from Tama Art University in 2015, joined Canon as a product designer. Always enjoyed new discoveries in Hokkaido's nature ever since childhood. Father was a veterinarian in a livestock hygiene service center, and so grew up watching treatments of livestock. Spends days thinking about the distance between man and creatures.
Hexagon is an umbrella that uses magnets to connect to other umbrellas, encouraging interaction between people.
"When it rains, the world feels smaller. People walking in the city pass by each other and hide themselves under their umbrella. Umbrellas have existed for 3500 years. Since its invention it has been used as a tool to protect. People use umbrellas to protect themselves in the dark wet world and seem to be used to shut themselves off from the outside. So in this project, I tried to redesign the umbrella and create a design that can promotes interaction between passersby. Hexagon is not just an umbrella, it is a method to facilitate communication, a way to break through traditional boundary. It is a media for people to anticipate the future. With the special magnetic structure, Hexagon can be connected with each other. Whether they are introverts or extroverts, people can feel the subtle magnetic force that exists between them and have the feeling they are still part of this world. Rain makes the world lonely, but what I hope people can feel that even though they are alone, they are not lonely. I also hope this design gives them a sense of warmth and anticipation."
With the background of Industrial Design at Wuhan University, she is specialized in interaction design at Monash University. Continues her studies. Relies on inspiration to create designs that bring people together.
RESOLUTION OF SOUND LOCATION is a headphone device composed of super directive microphones and speakers that can determine the sound source and adjust volume.
"Owls have an excellent sense of hearing. They can tell where a sound is coming from by the position difference between their left and right ears, and pick up faint sounds by adjusting the depressions of their face panel shaped like a parabola. The main purpose of this work was to mimic the features of owls, explore new possibilities regarding the future of hearing aid expansion devices. What if we could identify the sound source just as well as owls? We could improve our ability to search for survivors at disaster sites. Sound signals such as voice and breath are important signs during a search. If the device is able to determine the exact position of a sound source, it would be tremendously useful to discover survivors. Such a device would also greatly prevent traffic accidents. High levels of sound source localization for electric vehicles and bicycles should significantly decrease accident risks. Our work is composed of several pairs of microphones and speakers facing different directions. The concept is ""resolution of sound location.” Each pair, or unit, can increase the volume of a sound from a particular direction. It can also sense specific sounds by attaching an extra sound filter unit. Through unit adjustments such as improving the sound resolution from a specific direction or choosing which sounds to pick up, we will explore the future of hearing."
Takato Sasaki has been working in the field of design and illustration. He actively uses his knowledge and skills in his designs. Yuki Shinohara works mainly in product design. He uses his versatile knowledge and proposes things and matters that bring innovative value to the world.
Drop Box utilizes aerodynamics to allow critical supplies to be airdropped safely in disaster areas without requiring a parachute.
"Drop Box is a new way to deliver supplies in times of disaster that uses the principle of aerodynamics. Disaster areas often receive the supplies by air drop , but the traditional way of using parachutes requires a lot of effort and are unsafe. The idea of “Drop Box" comes from a childhood toy (something resembling the Japanese "taketombo") that uses simple aerodynamics so it can do a vertical rotation fall, and the bottom of the cone can absorb the impact force upon landing. According to aerodynamics, the “Drop Box” will start revolving after being released，the three propellers will produce upward resistance, while the conical bottom of the box will soften the impact of landing. Compared to the use of a parachute drop, it will save a lot money and manpower. At the same time, the entire box is made of the corrugated paper to make it completely recyclable and less costly. Therefore, the use of the "Drop Box" is less costly and safer."
Design team consisting of 4 students studying at the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts. They work based on the concept that the ideas of a design come from life and designs give back to life. They propose designs that bring warmth to our lives like a gentle kiss.
Slow Door is conceived as an assembly of cubic components forming a spatial mechanism that delays the transition through a doorway. It allows us to appreciate the time and space created by the experience.
"Slow Door is a slow motion door designed to actually "feel" space. The slow door was designed to investigate the in-between space - "The space of anticipation". We wanted to design an event that would orchestrate the experience through the threshold as a space in itself. This was manifested by delaying the transition through the doorway and by prolonging the moment of haptic interface between the subject and the object. The challenge during the design process was to ascertain the degree of intervention pivotal to making it experiential while still maintaining its functionality. The slow door consists of 252 Cubic units of which 251 are typical with dimensions of 100mmX100mmX100mm and one atypical block which has an integrated door handle. The units are distributed over a grid of 21 rows and 12 columns."
Deepak Jawahar and Irina Bogdan are both designers with an architectural background. Their works address different scales and are informed by their interests in philosophy and computational design.
4 mentors – celebrated designers across different industries – will help 4 of the finalists to create prototypes of their designs to be exhibited at Milan Design Week 2016.
Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu, cofounders of Neri & Hu Design and Research based in Shanghai, have been working on projects around the world which incorporate overlapping design disciplines to create a new paradigm in architecture. In 2014, Wallpaper* announced Neri & Hu as 2014 Designer of The Year. In 2013, they were inducted into the U.S. Interior Design Hall of Fame. Neri & Hu believes strongly that research is a key design tool as each project brings its own unique set of contextual issues. Providing architecture, interior, master planning, graphic and product design services, Neri & Hu recognizes that contemporary problems relating to buildings extend beyond the boundaries of traditional architecture. Rather than starting from a formulaic design, Neri & Hu's work is anchored in the dynamic interaction of experience, detail, material, form and light.www.neriandhu.com
A modern day artificer, Max Lamb is a product and furniture designer whose design sensibility is informed by his extensive knowledge of manufacturing techniques, respect for materials, and skill as a maker. A native of Cornwall, Max has been tinkering with objects and engaging with the physical landscape since he was a small boy; a curiosity that led to an MA in Design Products at the Royal College of Art and subsequently the foundation of his workshop-based design practice. Max explores both traditional and unconventional materials and processes, blending experimentation and rationale to create furniture and products that are both honest and intelligible. Max teaches Design Products at the Royal College of Art and runs regular design workshops for companies and institutions around the world.www.maxlamb.org
Elena Manferdini, founder and owner of Atelier Manferdini, with offices in Italy and California, has completed design, art and architectural projects in the United States, Europe and Asia including the Pavilion of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. Her firm has collaborated with internationally renowned companies such as Swarovski, and Sephora and her work has been featured in journals and publications including Elle, Vogue and the New York Times. Currently Graduate Chair at the Southern California Institute of Architecture she exhibits internationally and lectures widely having spoken at MIT, Princeton, Tsinghua University and Bauhaus. She was recently awarded the 2013 COLA Fellowship to support the production of original artwork. In 2011 she received a prestigious annual grant from United States Artists (USA) and her Blossom design for Alessi received the Good Design Award.www.ateliermanferdini.com
In 2008 Daniel Arsham and Alex Mustonen founded Snarkitecture, a collaborative and experimental practice operating in territories between art and architecture. Sharing a mutual interest in the intersection of art and architecture since their student days together at Cooper Union in New York, their first commission was for Dior Homme. Deriving its name from Lewis Carroll's fanciful poem “The Hunting of the Snark”, Snarkitecture designs permanent, architectural scale projects and functional objects with new and imaginative purposes, creating moments of wonder and interaction that allow people to engage directly with the surrounding environment. Transforming the familiar into the extraordinary, Snarkitecture makes architecture perform the unexpected.www.snarkitecture.com
The Lexus Design Award judges have been invited from across the design world.
Pritzker Prize-winning Japanese architect.
Senior curator in the department of Architecture and Design at MoMA, NYC.
Design and architecture curator at Hong Kong's upcoming M+ Museum for visual culture.
German-born industrial designer and co-founder and chief editor of designboom.com.
Author of Hello World: Where Design Meets Life and design critic for the New York Times and Frieze.
Held many design-related positions at Toyota Motor Corporation, leading up to his current position as the President of Lexus International.