From October to December 2012, Lexus conducted the LEXUS DESIGN AWARD. During that period 1,243 submissions were received from 72 countries. After careful consideration, Lexus selected 12 winners from that group.

The designers of two of the winning entries created prototypes of their designs in close collaboration with the two assigned mentors, Junya Ishigami and Sam Hecht. These 2 prototypes as well as the panel displays of the other 10 winning entries were exhibited in the Lexus space at the Milan Design Week in April 2013.

Discover the winning designs below, or learn more about the mentors and judges.



The theme of the LEXUS DESIGN AWARD 2012 was motion - a word and concept directly connected to people's everyday lives. Under this theme, Lexus welcomed innovators and called for works that display a deep understanding of Lexus design, uniquely interpret concepts and provide original perspectives on and solutions to various issues of daily life.



    Interactive interior lighting inspired by an ear of rice

    Inspired by an ear of rice slowly swaying in the wind, the interior light glows gold in the dark and gently leans towards people when they approach it.


    by tangent:
    (Yoshinaka Ono / Hideki Yoshimoto)

    from Japan / UK

    tangent: is a design brand based in London and Tokyo, founded by Hideki Yoshimoto (Royal College of Art) and Yoshinaka Ono (Dentsu Inc) in 2013. It uses the essence extracted from nature and digital technology as the core of its creation.



    Product Designer

    A graduate of the Royal College of Art, Sam Hecht founded Industrial Facility, his studio, in 2002, with Kim Colin. Hecht designed for many renowned brands like Panasonic, Muji and Droog, which received numerous awards.

    He also worked for the architect David Chipperfield and IDEO. Hecht believes in the importance of design as a means of simplifying lives in an inspirational way.

    “Making Porcelain With an ORIGAMI”

    Making porcelain from a paper mould.

    By casting using a type of paper, free-form porcelain can be created, and thinner than by conventional methods. This technique will give rise to new possibilities of porcelain.

    Hitomi Igarashi

    by Hitomi Igarashi
    from Japan

    Graduated from Tama Art University, Department of Product Design in 2013.




    Born in Kanagawa, Japan in 1974, Junya Ishigami graduated from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music with an M.F.A. in Architecture. His public works include Kanagawa Institute of Technology KAIT workshop (Atsugi), and Yohji Yamamoto (Y’s) New York Gansevoort Street Store (New York). In 2005, he focused on furniture and worked as special designer for the Lexus L-finesse Modern Japanese Art Meets Automotive Design.

    Awards include the BCS Prize in 2009, the Golden Lion Awards as part of the 12th International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Biennale in 2010 and the Commissioner for Cultural Affairs Awards in Japan in 2012. He is the author of Another Scale of Architecture and other books.


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    A compact electric scooter that can be easily folded

    Electric scooter specially designed for short trips inspired by the Swiss knife. The seat, handlebars and footboards are hidden inside the case when the scooter is folded.

    Goula / Figuera

    by Goula / Figuera
    (Álvaro Goula / Pablo Figuera)

    from Spain

    Álvaro Goula and Pablo Figuera established their own design studio in September 2012, although they have been working together since they started their studies at ELISAVA. Products already produced include the Savage collection or the Folio lamps, which will soon be up for sale. Their work has been exhibited in Barcelona, Stockholm, Frankfurt and Madrid and have been awarded with the Design Plus and the Injuve among others.

    Judge’s Comment

    Although this scooter is for short distances, the compact and simple design, which can be folded like a Swiss Army Knife, is beautifully well considered.
    < Toyo Ito >

    Nice and compact; like it!
    < Jaime Hayon >

    “Calm Kayak”

    A boat specifically built for calm reflection of thought

    Calm Kayak is not designed for use in extreme sports. Its main purpose is to comfortably float on a calm river, lake or a city canal while reflecting one’s personal thoughts.

    Mani Zamani

    by Mani Zamani
    from Iran

    Mani Zamani, product designer, craftsman and digital artist, graduated from the Design Academy Eindhoven and HDK School of Crafts and Design in Gothenburg, Sweden. Zamani’s digital work and wooden creations have gained much attention in the international creative community.

    Judge’s Comment

    Fine solution; playful and with tradition.
    < Jaime Hayon >

    Motion does not have to allude to speed, it can also refer to more reserved movement. This design proposes we take a minute to enjoy our environment, rather than rushing from one place to the next.
    < Birgit Lohmann >


    A fun device to help ease crowded platforms on Taipei's busy Metro Transit

    An LED-based lighting device, depicting birds in flight, equally distribute the number of people in a given area.

    Dong Bo Cai

    Zong Han Tsai

    by Dear Cai
    (Dong Bo Cai / Zong Han Tsai)

    from Taiwan

    Dong Bo Cai studies at the Department of Communications Design, Shih Chien University, Taiwan. Zong Han Tsai studies at the Department of Industrial Design, National United University, Taiwan.

    Judge’s Comment

    This combines poetry and technology while offering efficiency to a numbing routine that millions of people go through each day.
    < Aric Chen >

    “KLAVA lamp”

    Precise illumination, always in balance

    The combination of geometry and masses distribution allows the lamp to stay in balance in any position with the effect of different light settings.

    Rudy Davi

    by Rudy Davi
    from Italy

    Rudy Davi is an architect with 8 years experience between Holland and Italy. He graduated in Venice and since 2009 he has run his own studio in Italy working in the architecture and design field. Shape and mechanics are his language.

    Judge’s Comment

    This is a believable proposal, with a seductive and evocative form, that reminds me of Gino Sarfatti's mid-century beanbag lamps.
    < Aric Chen >

    Moving furnishings in a home are always a surprise and an engagement.
    < Paola Antonelli >

    “Natural Motion for Natural Music”

    Use the most natural motions to operate this speaker

    This concept started out by seeking for the proper meaning of motion in our lives. The design utilizes the most basic elements of motion to function (without any user knowledge).

    Moonchul Kim

    by Moonchul Kim
    from Korea

    Moonchul Kim is a Product designer currently working at Fuseproject of San Francisco. He graduated from Hong-ik university in South Korea and worked for companies such as Industrial Facility, Lunar design , Mike & Maaike.

    Judge’s Comment

    I like the idea of turning a smartphone into a joystick, and would be curious to see how far the designer can take this.
    < Aric Chen >

    The beauty of this device is that it goes beyond our typical associations with motion to focus on the smaller gestures we perform, whereby the user engages with technology in a more traditional sense.
    < Birgit Lohmann >

    “Slides Bridge”

    Changing your motion can change your emotion.

    The Slides bridge brings a little surprise to our ordinary life, people can slide down the bridge like a child. It makes people happy and laugh.


    by zhufei
    (Zhu Fei/Zhu Tian Hui)

    from China

    Zhu Fei, sculptor and designer.
    Creator of seventeen shortlist works in nine designboom competitions.
    THE PUBLIC CHOICE AWARD of Microsoft's the Next-Gen PC Design Competition 2007
    THE FIRST PRIZE OF Radostar Prize CHINA2011

    Judge’s Comment

    Instead of being confined to moving in a routine way, the parallel pairing of walking and sliding to traverse the bridge reconsiders our means of travel, offering a more exciting way of getting around.
    < Birgit Lohmann >

    “The drinking fountain”

    Understanding the importance of water through unique fountain patterns

    Luxury fountains are out of date. Tap water is transformed into butterflies, dragonflies, spiders, cherry blossoms, and an arabesque pattern. Simple, small yet beautiful.


    (Yuki Sugihara / Toshihiko Suzuki / Munetaka Ishikawa)

    from Japan

    Atelier OPA endeavors to create product design, art, interior design, and architecture with an original touch.
    Yuki Sugihara, Ph.D., artist,
    Toshihiko Suzuki, Professor of Kogakuin University,architect,and
    Munetaka Ishikawa, designer.

    Judge’s Comment

    Poetic, effective, minimum effort > maximum effect. It chooses delight as a goal and it achieves it.
    < Paola Antonelli >

    “Tumbleweed Desert”

    Powered by nature, saving our lands in a changing climate

    This platform changes shape to harness wind energy, allowing it to travel vast distances to monitor land condition and plant seeds, which in turn leads to protecting homes from the spreading desert.

    Shlomi Mir

    by Shlomi Mir
    from Israel

    Shlomi Mir is an Industrial/Interaction designer with five years of experience in developing E.O.D. robots and interactive science exhibits. As a student at Bezalel Academy, Jerusalem, Shlomi won the Tel Aviv’s Architect Award in 2012.

    Judge’s Comment

    The idea of transforming the desert into green land using a self-propelled platform with wind energy is truly attractive. Its large scale, romantic concept gives people a dream of the future, whether this can actually be realized or not.
    < Toyo Ito >

    “Weaving a Home”

    Structural fabric weaves tent shelters into communities.

    The tent is reinvented with a structural fabric to become a proud home for displaced persons, empowering them to weave communities-and go beyond mere survival.

    Abeer Seikaly

    by Abeer Seikaly
    from Jordan / Canada

    Abeer Seikaly is a RISD graduate in Architecture & Fine Arts. She has worked on luxury retail projects around the GCC, directed the 1st contemporary art fair in Jordan (SAF) and won The Rug Company’s Middle East Wall Hanging Competition 2012.

    Judge’s Comment

    Well realized and effective , this shelter is a good addition to the already large family of nomadic temporary shelters.
    < Paola Antonelli >

    I'm not sure how well this would work as refugee or nomadic housing, but it has a nice narrative, a beautifully revealed structure and perhaps other interesting uses.
    < Aric Chen >

    “World Clock”

    Rotate the clock and the still hands reveal the time around the world

    This World Clock can show any time zone. Rotate the clock so the city name is on top. The hands remains still and show the time in that city. Jump over time differences easily.

    Masafumi Ishikawa

    by Masafumi Ishikawa
    from Japan

    1981 Born in Aichi Prefecture, Japan.
    2007 Graduated from Chiba University.
    2007 Entered in TOTO LTD as product designer.

    Judge’s Comment

    Love it; the best one: simple and great!
    < Jaime Hayon >


  • MENTORS, Sam Hecht

    Product Designer
    Sam Hecht

    A graduate of the Royal College of Art, Hecht founded Industrial Facility, his studio, with long-time collaborator Kim Colin in 2002. Hecht has designed for the likes of Panasonic, Muji and Droog, receiving numerous awards. Having previously worked for architect David Chipperfield and IDEO, Hecht believes in the importance of design as a means of simplifying lives in an inspirational way.

  • Architect, Junya Ishigami

    Junya Ishigami

    Born in Kanagawa, Japan in 1974, he graduated from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music with an Architecture. His public works include Kanagawa Institute of Technology KAIT workshop (Atsugi) , and yohji yamamoto New York gansevoort street store (New York). In 2005, he created the furniture and also worked as special designer for Lexus L-finesse Modern Japanese Art Meets Automotive Design. Awards include the BCS Prize in 2009, the Golden Lion Award in part of the 12th International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Biennale in 2010 and the Commissioner for Cultural Affairs Award in Japan in 2012. He is the author of Another Scale of Architecture and other books.

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  • Curator, Paola Antonelli

    CuratorPaola Antonelli

  • Curator, Aric Chen

    CuratorAric Chen

  • Artist-designer, Jaime Hayon

    Artist-designerJaime Hayon

  • Architect, Toyo Ito

    ArchitectToyo Ito

  • Chief editor of designboom, Birgit Lohmann

    Chief editor of
    designboomBirgit Lohmann

  • President of Lexus International, Kiyotaka Ise

    President of
    Lexus InternationalKiyotaka Ise

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Comments from the contributors of LEXUS DESIGN AWARD 2013