Next-Generation Creators on Quest to Design a Better Tomorrow.

TOKYO (Jan. 27, 2022) — Lexus today announced the six finalists for the Lexus Design Award 2022, selected from among 1,726 entries from 57 countries/regions by a panel of design luminaries. Finalists gain the extraordinary privilege of mentorship by four international creative stars, with whom they will interact directly while developing prototypes within a budget of 3,000,000 yen (approx.$25,000 USD) each.

Now in its 10th edition, the Lexus Design Award continues to evolve since its launch in 2013 with the mission of supporting and nurturing young creators. The Lexus Design Award program identifies promising talent whose fresh ideas receive a high-profile, cross-media introduction on an established platform respected by the global creative community. Finalists were chosen for their original solutions contributing to a better tomorrow, while articulating the Lexus brand’s three core principles — Anticipate, Innovate and Captivate — while seamlessly enhancing the happiness of all.

Lexus Design Award 2022 Finalists

  • Chitofoam by Charlotte Böhning & Mary Lempres (Dual USA – Germany and Dual USA – Norway / Based in USA): A biodegradable packaging solution derived from the exoskeletons of mealworms that have digested polystyrene foam waste.
  • Hammock Wheelchair by Wondaleaf (Malaysia): A combination wheelchair, forklift and hammock for reducing the manual lifting of patients by caregivers.
  • Ina Vibe by Team Dunamis (Nigeria): A sustainable cooking, charging and lighting product.
  • Rewind by Poh Yun Ru (Singapore): A platform that leverages multi-sensory stimulation to prompt meaningful recollection for seniors with dementia.
  • Sound Eclipse by Kristil & Shamina (Russia): A noise-cancelling device that reduces noise from outside when placed near an open window.
  • Tacomotive by Kou Mikuni (Japan): A tangible driving simulator for children with visual and aural challenges.

Lexus Design Award 2022 judge Anupama Kundoo said, “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. The mentoring process will optimize the impact of the finalists’ designs. I greatly enjoyed working with such a diverse jury and finding so much alignment. Where there were different perspectives, those too were complementary and aligned in their core values.”

Earlier in January, the six finalists participated in a five-day workshop with four mentors: Sam Baron, Joe Doucet, Sabine Marcelis and Yosuke Hayano. Interacting directly with these leading lights, the finalists received professional guidance to explore the potential of their ideas, and help bring them to life. Finalists will continue working with mentors to flesh-out their prototypes throughout the three months or so leading up to the Grand Prix.

In spring 2022, the judging panel, comprising renowned creative visionaries Paola Antonelli, Anupama Kundoo, Bruce Mau and Simon Humphries, will select the Grand Prix Winner based on the finalists’ presentations of how their prototypes put their design concepts into practice.

In exclusive individual follow-up sessions, the six finalists will receive personalized consultations with each of the panel members to explore career paths and give a flying start to their further professional development.


Title of Work: Chitofoam
Name: Charlotte Böhning & Mary Lempres
Country: Dual USA – Germany  (Charlotte Böhning ) | Dual USA – Norway (Mary Lempres) Based in USA
Chitofoam is a material research project that reuses discarded polystyrene foam as food for mealworms, and then utilizes their exoskeletons such as their discarded shells. It has been found that mealworms can safely digest polystyrene, and biopolymers made from chitosan extracted from their exoskeleton will be used to create an environmentally friendly alternative to polystyrene foam.

Charlotte Böhning & Mary Lempres are classmates pursuing their Master’s of Industrial Design at the Pratt Institute. They have respective backgrounds in development and behavioral economics, chemistry, and fine art. Their collaborative design practice is centered on material-driven innovation, empathic technologies, and human-centric factors.

Title of Work: Hammock Wheelchair
Name: Wondaleaf (Alex Wong, Reuben Tang, Louis Tang, Wong Ping Ming, John Tang, Lau Yien Yien and Sii How Sing)
Country: Malaysia
By combining features of a wheelchair, forklift, and hammock, caregivers can move and transfer patients without having to manually lift them. A cloth with tunnel casings acts as a pallet, while a wheelchair with two prongs acts like a forklift.

The team members of Wondaleaf are part of a medical device innovation company.  Each member specializes in different aspects of the design and production process. After some team members had difficulty caring for patients after running a nursing home, they partnered to design a device to assist caregivers and patients at these facilities.

Title Of Work: Ina Vibe
Name: Team Dunamis (Obasogie Okpamen, Obasogie Osasumwen, Anastacia Amadi, Uwague Aizeyosabo and Omolehin Emmanuel)
Country: Nigeria
Ina Vibe is a lightweight, portable gas-powered cooking burner/stove with a thermoelectric generator that harnesses heat energy to generate sustainable, affordable and clean electricity, making it possible to cook, charge and light in a sustainable and healthy way.

Team Dunamis is a group of five graduates of Engineering and Business Management from Landmark University and Rivers State University in Nigeria. They are passionate about creating energy solutions, human-centered products and systems geared towards transforming their continent for the better. They aim to be a beacon for hope in their communities.

Title of Work: Rewind
Name: Poh Yun Ru
Country: Singapore
Designed to evoke memories, Rewind uses a motion-tracking tool that guides seniors with dementia in re-enacting familiar gestures. These actions are then reflected as audio-visual feedback on a paired device that triggers recollection.

Poh Yun Ru is a socially engaged product designer who seeks to create a positive impact on society by improving the lives of others. Living in a culturally rich and diverse society, she sees design as a methodology to develop intuitive and inclusive solutions for people from all walks of life.

Title of Work: Sound Eclipse
Name: Kristil & Shamina (Kristina Loginova and Shamil Sahabiev)
Country: Russia
Installed in front of half-open windows, the microphone on the back of Sound Eclipse captures noise, while speakers emit sound waves of identical amplitude to the original noise but of inverted phase. These waves combine and cancel each other out.

Shamil Sahabiev is an industrial designer who has also worked as a concept artist, contributing his designs to multiple video game titles, including games for VR. Kristina Loginova, as a product manager, has helped to turn many creative ideas into profitable businesses. Together they are now focused on industrial design with the goal of creating things that benefit society and bring the future closer.

Title of Work: Tacomotive
Name: Kou Mikuni
Country: Japan
The texture of the paper, especially its roughness and softness, changes subtly with pattern cutting. Using this phenomenon, I designed an analog driving game to enjoy tactile exploration, inspired by the concept of co-creating communication in the education of children with visual and aural challenges.

Kou Mikuni graduated the Department of Integrated Science (natural science) at the University of Tokyo, and is currently a doctoral student studying design at the School of Engineering (mechanical engineering) of the same university.


Paola Antonelli is Senior Curator of Architecture & Design at The Museum of Modern Art, as well as MoMA’s founding Director of Research & Development. Her goal is to promote design’s understanding, until its positive influence on the world is universally acknowledged. Her work investigates design’s impact on everyday experience, often including overlooked objects and practices, and combining design, architecture, art, science, and technology.

She has curated shows, written books, lectured worldwide, and taught in several schools, including Harvard and UCLA. Among her most recent exhibitions are Broken Nature, devoted to the idea of restorative design (conceived as the XXII Triennale di Milano) and Material Ecology, on the groundbreaking work of architect Neri Oxman. She is currently working on several new sessions of her MoMA R&D Salons; on the exhibition Never Alone, about interactive design and videogames; and on the Instagram series @design.emergency, conceived with design critic Alice Rawsthorn and devoted to the role of design in the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond. Alice and Paola’s book, Design Emergency, will be published in May 2022.

Anupama Kundoo graduated from University of Mumbai in 1989 and received her PhD degree from the TU Berlin in 2008. Her research-oriented practice has generated people centric architecture based on spatial and material research for low environmental impact while being socio-economically beneficial. Her body of works was recently exhibited as a solo show ‘Taking Time’ at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark in Spring of 2021.  She has taught Architecture and Urban Management at various international universities strengthening her expertise in rapid urbanization and climate change related development issues, and was the Davenport Visiting Professor at Yale University in Spring 2020.

She is currently Professor at Potsdam School of Architecture, Germany and the winner of the 2021 Auguste Perret Prize for her contribution to architectural technologies and the 2021 recipient of the RIBA Charles Jencks Award.

Designer, author, educator, artist and entrepreneur Bruce Mau practices a holistic life-centered design approach grounded in empathy and fact-based optimism to help clients and collaborators envision and articulate their purpose and future. Across thirty years of design innovation, he’s worked with global brands and companies, leading organizations, heads of state, renowned artists and fellow optimists. He became an international figure with the publication of S,M,L,XL, designed and co-authored with Rem Koolhaas. His most recent book,  Mau: MC24 – Bruce Mau’s 24 Principles for Designing Massive Change in Your Life and Work, offers readers a mindset and toolkit that can be applied to any type of challenge at any scale to create impact and positive transformation.

Simon Humphries is Head of Toyota & Lexus Global Design. He was appointed to oversee design for both brands in 2018.  As Head of Lexus Global Design Humphries seeks to define Lexus’ unique values in the form of a brand philosophy, incorporating a clear cultural reference to Lexus’ Japanese heritage and building a design direction that is relevant to users around the world.

Humphries joined the company in 1994. His many roles in leadership and advanced design include defining the signature spindle grille that has become an icon for the Lexus brand. In 2016 he became President of ED2 (Toyota Europe Design Development) where his team spearheaded development of mobility concepts such as the Toyota e-Palette concept as part of the brand’s transition from “automotive company” to “mobility company.” Humphries began his career in design in 1988 when he was awarded the Royal Society of Arts Bursary Prize for Product Design in the UK.  The award gave him the opportunity to work for Sony, which jumpstarted his passion for living and working in Japan. In his spare time Humphries enjoys carpentry and is restoring a 100-year-old Japanese farmhouse.


A visionary creative leader, Sam Baron creates products and experiences, giving life to cross-over works mixing art and design that drive innovative ideas from concept to completion.  His work touches many fields across hospitality, retail, design, fashion, and culture. From a global perspective, Baron leads sophisticated initiatives that create an experience for some of the world’s leading brands. For a decade, he has been a consultant as Design director for Fabrica, an international communication research center based in Italy.

In 2009 Baron received the “Grand Prix de la Creation de la Ville de Paris” in the design category, and in 2010 Philippe Starck selected him as one of the ten important designers of the next decade. His work is continuously featured in the international press, and included in international museum collections. Recently Sam has been awarded the special PAD Paris fair prize. Sam Baron currently lives and works between Portugal and France.

A designer, entrepreneur, inventor and creative director, Joe Doucet is one of the most sought-after creative talents working in America today. His work deftly hybridizes function and visual appeal while conveying layers of meaning and message. Doucet believes that design and, more importantly, a designer’s thought process can play a larger role in innovation and problem solving, as well as aesthetics. He currently holds numerous patents for his designs and inventions.

Doucet’s work has been exhibited globally and has received numerous international awards, including a World Technology Award for Design Innovation and multiple Good Design Awards. Doucet was named the 2017 Winner of the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award as Product Designer—the highest honor in his field. He is also Designer of the Year 2019 finalist by Dezeen, and a recipient of Fast Company’s Most Important Design Companies of 2019.

Yosuke Hayano, an architect from Japan, is principal partner of MAD Architects based in Beijing, China. MAD is led by Ma Yansong, Dang Qun, and Yosuke and it is committed to developing futuristic, organic, technologically advanced designs that embody a contemporary interpretation of the Eastern affinity for nature. With a vision for the city of the future based in the spiritual and emotional needs of residents, MAD endeavors to create a balance between humanity, the city, and the environment.

Yosuke has been the winner of several high-profile awards, including the Architecture League of New York Young Architects Award (2006), the Design for Asia Award (2011), and the Kumamoto Artpolis Award (2011). He served as a visiting lecturer at the Waseda Art and Architecture School from 2008 to 2012, and at Tokyo University from 2010 to 2012. In addition, he acted as an external examiner at the Architectural Association of London from 2015 to 2019.

Sabine Marcelis is a Dutch designer who runs her practice from the harbor of Rotterdam. After graduating from the Design Academy of Eindhoven in 2011, Marcelis began working as an independent designer within the fields of product, installation and spatial design with a strong focus on materiality. Her work is characterized by pure forms which highlight material properties.Marcelis applies a strong aesthetic point of view to her collaborations with industry specialists. This method of working allows her to intervene in the manufacturing process, using material research and experimentation to achieve new and surprising visual effects for projects both showcased in musea and commissioned by commercial clients and fashion houses.

Sabine recently won the prestigious Wallpaper awards ‘Designer of the year 2020’, The Elle Deco International Design award 2019 ‘Young designer of the year’ and ‘GQ Men of the year 2019’ International Artist of the year.

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Lexus launched in 1989 with a flagship sedan and a guest experience that helped define the premium automotive industry. In 1998, Lexus introduced the luxury crossover category with the launch of the Lexus RX. The luxury hybrid sales leader, Lexus delivered the world’s first luxury hybrid in 2006, and has since sold over 2.02 million hybrid vehicles.
A global luxury automotive brand with an unwavering commitment to bold, uncompromising design, exceptional craftsmanship, and exhilarating performance, Lexus has developed its lineup to meet the needs of the next generation of global luxury guests, and is currently available in over 90 countries/regions worldwide.

Lexus associates/team members across the world are dedicated to crafting amazing experiences that are uniquely Lexus, and that excite and change the world.


Launched in 2013, the Lexus Design Award is an international competition for up-and-coming creators from around the world. The Award seeks to contribute to society by supporting designers and creators whose work shows potential to shape a better future. Six finalists gain a rare opportunity to prototype their designs under the mentorship of leading designers. The Lexus Design Award provides global media exposure to drive professional career advancement.



Zachary Reed
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Kimberly Agnello
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