Lexus Design Award 2022 offers next-gen designers opportunity of a lifetime
Imagine a world where design creates an enriched sense of happiness for all — this is the guiding principle of the Lexus Design Award, which this year celebrates its 10th edition.
“For over 10 years Lexus has supported young talent from around the world. We challenge them to better our lives with design, and that starts with a line”, says Lexus about its annual awards program, which offers a unique opportunity to designers whose innovative proposals tackle pressing issues ranging from plastic pollution to the quality of life of people suffering physical and mental health conditions.
Since 2013, the Lexus Design Award program has identified promising talent with ideas worthy of recognition.
Over the past nine editions, it has showcased 90 creative works and celebrated the talents of 139 individuals and teams responding to the theme, Design for a Better Tomorrow, an evolution of the program’s criteria which, since 2019, has called on designers to think beyond the confines of the Lexus brand and consider global challenges facing diverse across the world.
“The program emphasises Lexus’ commitment to design by nurturing the next generation of designers, showcasing their work, and equipping them with the skills they need to face design challenges and even help them achieve production of their innovative concepts,” says Lexus.
“Lexus believes in design beyond automobiles. Lexus thinks the automotive industry must now adopt a broader perspective than ever before when making cars. The LDA Program is intended to nurture design thinking as the best approach to building a solution to any challenge, automotive related or not.”
Over 1,726 entries from 57 countries and regions, have been whittled down to six finalists by an elite judging committee made up of Indian architect Anupama Kundoo and Canadian designer Bruce Mau, who joining multi-term contributing judges Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator, Department of Architecture and Design, MoMA, NY and Simon Humphries, who heads Toyota & Lexus Global Design.
“The judging criteria for LEXUS DESIGN AWARD 2022 draws on the three key principles of the Lexus brand: Anticipate, Innovate, and Captivate, while seamlessly enhancing the happiness of all,” says Lexus.
“Lexus is looking for captivating designs that intersect with thoughtful solutions, designs that can truly make a brighter future for people and societies in diverse circumstances.”
This year’s finalists have been selected for their solutions which highlight the creative interplay between design and technology, from biodegradable packaging solutions to original devices that hope to alleviate the suffering of those with conditions including auditory and visual processing disorders and dementia.
“I was impressed by the creators’ sensitivity to real-life issues faced by individuals with disabilities and the challenges facing society, such as sustainable coexistence with nature,” says Kundoo about the 2022 finalists, whose projects will receive a high-profile, cross-media introduction as well as the unique opportunity for each finalist to be mentored by globally recognised designers, alongside receiving funds to build their prototype.
This year, the mentors include Beijing-based architect Yosuke Hayano, a principal partner of MAD Architects, and Lisbon-based contemporary designer Sam Baron, who has also served as the director of the Design Department at Italian research centre Fabrica since 2006.
They join American product designer Joe Doucet, in his third year as a trusted mentor, and Dutch designer Sabine Marcelis, a dedicated mentor from the previous year, whose role will be to find the mentee’s key assets, helping them to grow and glow.
As Baron puts it: “to express their concept and also their personalities.”
“To share explorations and experiences with the selected candidates is a unique opportunity to get to know young international talents who will challenge themselves to be among the finalists.”
The six finalists, selected in January of this year, are currently being guided in surmounting challenges on the way to the fully-refined proposals, a once-in-a-lifetime experience that is certain to impact each finalist’s career on the international design stage.
Through unique one-on-one dialogues with these mentors and a development budget of up to JPY 3-million (over $25,000 USD) per design funded by Lexus, the finalists will be able to build and evolve prototypes before presenting their projects to the judging panel who will decide on the Grand Prix winner.
The winner will receive the Grand Prix trophy designed by the winner of the first Lexus Design Award in 2013, Hideki Yoshimoto.
Now a successful designer based in London, Yoshimoto has worked with a number of global brands such as Hermès and Wonderglass, incorporating his engineering background and commitment to Takumi craftsmanship, which also characterise this year’s accolade.
However, no one walks away empty-handed. As well as being celebrated on a global stage, and the once-in-a-lifetime experience of working one-on-one with a brilliant designer, each of the six finalists receives exclusive individual follow-up in the form of personalised consultations with each of the panel members.
The aim is to help them explore career paths and give a flying start to their further professional development and help to build a better tomorrow through design.
Stay tuned as we deep dive into the 6 finalists and their innovative proposals next week.