‘Yet’ is Creative Muse for Lexus Design Award 2017 – Now Open for Entries

‘Yet’ is Creative Muse for Lexus Design Award 2017 – Now Open for Entries

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August 10, 2016 — Lexus International today announced its call for entries for the Lexus Design Award 2017. First launched in 2013 to stimulate ideas for a better tomorrow, Lexus is celebrating the 5th anniversary of this international design competition supporting up-and-coming designers and creators worldwide.
The creative theme for the Lexus Design Award 2017 is “Yet”.
“At Lexus, our Yet philosophy gives us the courage to combine elements that at first seem incompatible – superior ride comfort YET exhilarating driving dynamics – for example. With Yet, we don’t compromise; we harmonize to create synergy that reveals unexpected yet amazing new possibilities. Yet is the catalyst that triggers breakthroughs, the spark that ignites an explosion of creative potential. Yet drives Lexus to explore visionary frontiers of design and technology that will shape tomorrow’s mobility” said Lexus International Executive Vice-President Yoshihiro Sawa.
Applicants are invited to submit innovative designs and original interpretations that demonstrate insight into the essence of the Yet theme.
Lexus Design Award 2017 will introduce twelve finalists and their works to the design community and beyond at Milan Design Week 2017*. Four of these 12 finalists will prototype their designs, mentored by globally recognized designers. The maximum production budget per prototype is three million JPY. Finalists will present their designs in the Lexus Milan Design Week experiential space. Judges will then assess the four prototypes to choose the Grand Prix winner who may receive the opportunity to bring his prototype to production.
Previous Lexus Design Award winners are displaying their talent on the world stage. Emanuela Corti and Ivan Parati’s Sense-Wear, the Grand Prix winner in 2015, gained further exposure at design events in Tokyo and Moscow. The Grand Prix winner of 2016, design team AMAM’s “AGAR PLASTICITY – A POTENTIAL USEFULNESS OF AGAR FOR PACKAGING AND MORE” has attracted wide interest and invitations to participate in other international exhibits. In this way, Lexus Design Award winners benefit from globe-spanning publicity and the potential for collaborative projects in the public and private sectors. Lexus is honored to encourage and spotlight emerging creative talent through the Lexus Design Award and the opportunities this yearly international design competition generates.
Entries to the Lexus Design Award 2017 competition will be accepted from August 10 through October 16. The twelve finalists will be announced in early 2017.
* The world’s largest design exhibition, also known as Salone Del Mobile, presents events and exhibits by brands and designers in many categories including furniture, fashion and textiles.

Call for Entries to the Lexus Design Award 2017 Competition

Title Lexus Design Award 2017
Application period August 10 – October 16, 2016
Theme “Yet”
Judging criteria
  • True to the essence of “YET” with uniqueness in its interpretation
  • Consistent with the ideas of Lexus “DESIGN”
Paola Antonelli
Aric Chen
Toyo Ito
Birgit Lohmann
Alice Rawsthorn
Yoshihiro Sawa (Lexus International)
Neri & Hu
Max Lamb
Elena Manferdini
Award categories
Lexus Design Award 2017 – Twelve finalists
· One Grand Prix winner (selected from the four prototype winners)
· Four prototype winners (selected from the twelve finalists)
· Eight panel finalists
· Twelve finalists will be invited to Milan Design Week 2017.*
· Four winners among the twelve finalists will receive up to three million yen each to cover prototype production costs. The four winners will create prototypes between January and March 2017, through sessions with their assigned mentors.
· The four prototypes and eight panels will be exhibited at a Lexus exhibition space during Milan Design Week 2017.
· Each of the twelve finalists will be asked to give a presentation at Milan Design Week 2017, after which a single Grand Prix winner will be named from among the four prototypes through final review by the judges.
*Note: Only one person per entry will be invited, regardless of whether the winning works are submitted by an individual or a group.
Organizer Lexus International
In cooperation with designboom
Application Process For more information, visit LexusDesignAward.com


Judge and Mentor Profiles
Paola Antonelli / Curator
Antonelli joined The Museum of Modern Art in 1994 and is a Senior Curator in the Department of Architecture and Design, as well as MoMA’s Director of Research and Development. She has lectured at TED, the World Economic Forum in Davos, and several other international conferences. Her goal is to insistently promote understanding of design until its positive influence on the world is fully acknowledged and exploited. She is currently working on several shows on contemporary design, and on States of Design, a book about the diversity and variety of design fields that exist today.
Aric Chen / Curator
Aric Chen is Lead Curator for Design and Architecture at M+, the new museum for visual culture currently under construction in Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Cultural District. He previously served as Creative Director of Beijing Design Week, leading the successful relaunch of that event in 2011 and 2012. Chen has curated and organized numerous exhibitions and projects at museums, biennials and other events internationally, and has been a frequent contributor to publications including The New York Times, Monocle, Architectural Record and PIN-UP.
Toyo Ito / Architect
Ito graduated from the University of Tokyo, Department of Architecture in 1965. His main works include: Sendai Mediatheque, Tama Art University Library (Hachioji), Taiwan University, College of Social Sciences (Taiwan R.O.C), ‘Minna no Mori’ Gifu Media Cosmos, etc. Projects Under development include: National Taichung Theater (Taiwan R.O.C), New Athletic Field and Sports Park in Aomori (tentative title) and several others. Among his many honors are the Architectural Institute of Japan Prize, Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale, Royal Gold Medal from The Royal Institute of British Architects and the Pritzker Architecture Prize.
Birgit Lohmann / Chief Editor of designboom
Born in Hamburg, Lohmann studied industrial design in Florence before moving to Milan, where she has lived and worked since 1987. She worked as a designer and product development manager for a number of Italian architects and master designers. She has also worked as a design historian for justice departments and international auction houses. As a researcher and lecturer, she has conducted seminars on industrial design at a number of prestigious international universities. In 1999, she co-founded designboom, where she is currently the Chief Editor, Head of Educational Programming and Curator for International Exhibitions.
Alice Rawsthorn / Design Commentator
Alice Rawsthorn writes about design in the International New York Times and frieze.  Her latest book Hello World: Where Design Meets Life explores design’s impact on our lives: past, present and future.  She speaks on design at global events including TED and the World Economic Forum’s annual meetings at Davos, Switzerland.  Based in London, Alice is chair of trustees of the Chisenhale Gallery and the contemporary dance group Michael Clark Company, and a trustee of the Whitechapel Gallery.  She was awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to design and the arts.
Yoshihiro Sawa / Executive Vice President of Lexus International
Yoshihiro Sawa graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering and Design from Kyoto Institute of Technology. He has held a number of design-related positions since joining Toyota Motor Corporation in 1980, including Chief Officer of Global Design, Planning Division. He became Executive Vice President of Lexus International in April 2016.

Neri & Hu / Architects and Interdisciplinary Designers
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.
Max Lamb / Designer
Max Lamb’s work plays with the tradition of the working rural landscape — the beach as foundry, the quarry as workshop, felled yew trees of the Chatsworth estate as subject and source material. He is equally fascinated by the city, and his ability to adapt and respond to different environments produces designs that are uniquely of their time and place. Max is not committed to a single material or process, nor is he attracted to design as a means to solve problems. Rather he exploits the qualities inherent in a material to draw out its natural tendencies and beauty. His methods are high- and low-tech, and he is both designer and manufacturer, collaborating with foundries and factories as the scale or complexity of the project necessitates. However, there is continuity in the principles that he applies — honesty to material, a celebration of the process and of human capability, and its limitations.
Elena Manferdini / Designer and Architect
Elena Manferdini, founder and owner of Atelier Manferdini, with offices in Venice, 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.
Snarkitecture / Artists and Architects
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.


First launched in 2013, the Lexus Design Award is an international design competition that targets up-and-coming creators from around the world. The award seeks to foster the growth of ideas that contribute to society by supporting designers and creators whose works can help to shape a better future. It provides a unique opportunity for four finalists to work with globally recognized designer as a mentor to create prototypes of their designs, and then exhibit them at one of the design calendar's most important events.
Since its debut in 1989, Lexus has earned a worldwide reputation for high-quality products and exemplary customer service. Lexus is the hybrid leader among luxury brands, offering hybrids that provide the best in innovative technology and premier luxury. The evolution of Lexus is reflected in the progressive designs of its new vehicles. The signature spindle grille, dynamic light treatments and sculptured lines create a distinctive look of luxury for Lexus.

Prue Hyman
[email protected]



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2017 Lexus Design Award - Judge Paola Antonelli

2017 Lexus Design Award - Judge Aric Chen

2017 Lexus Design Award - Judge Toyo Ito

2017 Lexus Design Award - Judge Birgit Lohmann

2017 Lexus Design Award - Judge Alice Rawsthorn

2017 Lexus Design Award - Judge Yoshihiro Sawa

2017 Lexus Design Award - Mentors Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu

2017 Lexus Design Award - Mentor Max Lamb

2017 Lexus Design Award - Mentor Elena Manferdini

2017 Lexus Design Award - Mentor Daniel Arsham and Alex Mustonen of "Snarkitecture"

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