Lexus Design Award announces its 6 finalists for 2022 – Here are the design projects in the running

Now in its 10th edition, the annual Lexus Design Award has helped foster innovation by finding great talent from around the world, nurturing life-changing ideas and creating the right environment for experienced mentors to help budding designers to bring their ideas to life.

Held annually since 2013, the program invites young designers and students from around the world to create design that they believe makes the world a better, healthier and more inclusive future for our planet. The theme of the award echoes the Lexus brand principle: “Anticipate, innovate and captivate, while promoting happiness for all”. By creating the perfect environment for a design to thrive, Lexus helps turn ideas into real, impactful solutions. The brand’s strong association with design and innovation helps it accelerate ideas to reach their full potential. In addition to accelerating, developing and promoting design projects, the Lexus Design Award also helps launch design careers, with exclusive mentorships from international design stalwarts, funding for prototypes (up to 3 million Japanese Yen or USD 25,000) and the chance to have your work judged by leading design figures in the final Grand Prize competition. This year’s esteemed jury includes Paola Antonelli (senior curator of the Department of Architecture and Design at MoMA), Anupama Kundoo (architect and founder of Anupama Kundoo Architects), Bruce Mau (co-founder and CEO of Massive Change Network), and Simon Humphries (head of Toyota and Lexus Global Design).

The award process is unlike any other…it’s part award, part internship, part incubator and part institute. When you apply for the Lexus Design Award, you sign up for a 3-month course with internationally renowned mentors, like Sam Baron (Designer/Creative Director, Sam Baron & Co.), Joe Doucet (Founder, Joe Doucet x Partners ), Yosuke Hayano (Lead Partner, MAD Architects) and Sabine Marcelis (Designer / Founder, Studio Sabine Marcelis). Meanwhile, mentors work with you on your project (much like the most personalized internship ever), bringing your rough concept to life, while Lexus incubates the product, offering grants of up to 3,000,000 yen (about 25,000 USD) dedicated to the prototyping of projects up to a functional proof of concept. Additionally, in exclusive one-on-one follow-up sessions, the six finalists will receive one-on-one consultations with each of the judging panel members to explore career paths and kick-start their further professional development.

The awards are free to all, focusing on young talent looking to find their place in the industry and offering them the opportunity to take their fledgling ideas to new heights, with guidance from established professional mentors. The 2022 Lexus Design Award mentorship phase has come to an end over the past few weeks, and here’s a look at the 6 finalist designs that are in the running to win this year’s Lexus Design Award!

Click here to learn more about the Lexus Design Awards.

2022 Lexus Design Award Finalists

Chitofarm by Charlotte Böhning & Mary Lempres

Discover Chitofarm, a natural solution to a man-made problem. Of all the single-use plastics found in landfills, nothing is more notorious than polystyrene foam. It’s bad for you because it can create toxins that enter your body, and it’s bad for the environment because it takes centuries to biodegrade. However, Charlotte Böhning and Mary Lempres from Döppelganger found that mealworms can ingest Styrofoam in just a few days, turning it into fertilizer and CO2. The CO2 produced from this process is the same amount of CO2 that insects would produce if fed another food source. The Chitofarm is a modular and vertical recycling center that allows these mealworms to biodigest polystyrene waste, solving the plastic crisis thanks to an ingenious and inexpensive technique!

Hammock wheelchair by Wondaleaf

Now here’s an unusual statistic I didn’t know about – between 35% and 80% of nurses will suffer back injuries from lifting patients. As noble as the profession is (and dangerous too), it seems that lifting a patient from a wheelchair to a bed or vice versa is perhaps the most preventable problem a nurse or carer can have! The Hammock Wheelchair hopes to solve this problem by looking beyond the medical field for inspiration. Its design borrows from the ability of a forklift to lift objects off the ground or even platforms. The Hammock Wheelchair’s unique design has been developed around similar lines, allowing caregivers to easily lift patients and transport them. Patients are forced to lie on a soft fabric underlay, which hooks directly onto the hammock wheelchair. This fabric underlay then becomes like a hammock for the patient – ​​a hammock on wheels, no less!

Ina Vibe by Team Dunamis

The Ina Vibe is a sustainable and holistic method of cooking, charging and lighting. The project originally started as an energy capture device that harnessed the heat or thermal energy that escapes from a gas stove, turning it into electricity. However, through extensive mentoring, it was transformed into a solution that didn’t need gas in the first place. The Ina Vibe now runs entirely on renewable energy, using solar panels to charge a battery that powers an induction cooker and can even charge cell phones! The whole solution sits in an elegant woven rattan basket, making the Ina Vibe both traditional and advanced!

Rewind from Poh Yun Ru

Designed in response to her grandmother struggling with aging and dementia, Singapore-based Poh Yun Ru developed Rewind – a multi-sensory therapy device that helps seniors regain control of their lives by learning about activities they would perform on a daily basis. At the base of the Rewind experience is a wearable IoT device that almost acts as an input device for the Rewind. Actions such as ironing, pouring, stirring, etc. are displayed on a screen and users have to imitate them with the portable device in their hands. Accelerometers and sensors inside the wearable device measure how users interact with it, and through this process of copying and repeating those actions, seniors become familiar with the actions and interactions again. physical routines, allowing their minds and bodies to get used to them.

Sound Eclipse by Kristil and Shamina

The Sound Eclipse follows the LDA theme of “enhancing happiness” in perhaps the most relevant way! As the name suggests, this is a device that dwarfs sound and is designed to be placed on windows. Using traditional active noise cancellation techniques, the Sound Eclipse can reduce indoor and outdoor noise, creating a peaceful atmosphere virtually on demand. It can even identify and handle different sounds differently – so theoretically the Sound Eclipse would cancel out traffic noise, but not the music playing on your laptop. It’s rather poetic that the Sound Eclipse also looks like a black disc inspired by a literal eclipse with an annular ring!

Tacomotive by Kou Mikuni

Inspired by the story of his father, a teacher who worked primarily with children with disabilities, the Tacomotive is a unique communication tool designed to help turn texture into language. The solution was designed primarily for deaf-blind people, who cannot communicate using traditional methods. Using touch as a mode of expression and feedback, Mikuni developed Tacomotive, a “database” of textures created by cutting patterns into paper. These textures would in turn represent aspects of expression such as rough, soft, adhesion, and anisotropy (or something that registers different values ​​in different directions). The tacomotive then in turn becomes a new tactile but much more visceral communication gateway, unlike braille which is learned in the first place. Instead, it takes the way we perceive stimuli and turns them into “onomatopoeic textures” that everyone can relate to!

Click here to learn more about the Lexus Design Awards.

Abdul J. Gaspar