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World-renowned design leaders from varied backgrounds come together to nurture the next generation of designers

  • World-famous American architect Jeanne Gang joins the formidable panel of elite judges
  • Joe Doucet, Bethan Gray and Philippe Malouin join Shohei Shigematsu as this year’s panel of mentors

TOKYO, Japan (September 12, 2019) – Lexus International announced the list of judges and mentors for the Lexus Design Award 2020. Now on its eight year, the international design competition aims to continuously nurture and support the up-and-coming designers who use design to build a better future.

This year, Jeanne Gang, named one of 2019’s Most Influential People in the world by Time Magazine, joins other esteemed design leaders to form this year’s panel of judges. Gang, whose projects include an expansion to the American Museum of Natural History in New York and the O’Hare Global Terminal in Chicago, has been recognized internationally for a design process that expands beyond architecture’s conventional boundaries to foreground relationships between individuals, communities, and environments. Her work exemplifies Lexus Design Award’s goal of “Design for a Better Tomorrow.” Gang adds new perspective to the already richly diverse panel that includes luminaries Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator of Architecture & Design at The Museum of Modern Art, John Maeda, Technologist and Chief Experience Officer at Publicis Sapient, and Yoshihiro Sawa, President of Lexus International.

To mentor the six finalists who will be announced in January 2020, Lexus welcomes a stellar ensemble of creative pioneers from around the globe. Joe Doucet, designer, artist, entrepreneur, inventor and creative director, exhibits globally and has been honored with numerous international awards. Celebrated British designer Bethan Gray’s distinctive furniture and furnishings are inspired by world cultures and made in collaboration with master craftspeople. British-Canadian Philippe Malouin is an award[1] winning architectural, interior, and product designer also known for his art objects and installations. Architect Shohei Shigematsu, who heads OMA New York, will again be bringing out the creative potential of young designers, as he did at last year’s Lexus Design Award.

Inspired by these four world-renowned designers, the finalists will create prototypes of their design concepts. Prototyping begins with an intensive mentoring workshop at one of the world’s most dynamic cultural hubs, Intersect by Lexus, NYC. Finalists will continue to enjoy interactive access to mentors as they work to prepare their prototypes for display and judging at Milan Design Week* on April 20, 2020.

Following prototype presentations by each finalist, Lexus Design Award 2020 culminates with the announcement of the Grand Prix winner on Milan Design Week’s Press Day.

Lexus Design Award 2020 is currently accepting entries through October 14, 2019. Please visit for additional information.

Official Hashtag: #LexusDesignAward

* 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.

 Discover more about the Lexus brand and its products at

Judge: Paola Antonelli
Senior Curator for the Department of Architecture and Design at MoMA, NY

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. Following the XXII Triennale di Milano––her 2019 Broken Nature, devoted to the idea of restorative design––she is working on Material Ecology, a show on the work of architect Neri Oxman that will open at MoMA in February 2020; on several new sessions of her MoMA R&D Salons; and on two books–– a collection of essays on contemporary design and Design Bites, a book about foods from all over the world as examples of design.

Judge: Jeanne Gang
Architect / Founding Principal, Partner of Studio Gang

Jeanne Gang, FAIA, is the founding principal and partner of internationally renowned architecture and urban design practice Studio Gang. Recognized for an approach that expands beyond architecture’s conventional boundaries to foreground relationships between individuals, communities, and their environment.

Jeanne has a diverse, award-winning portfolio of work throughout the Americas and Europe. These include Aqua Tower in Chicago, an expansion of the American Museum of Natural History in New York and the new United States Embassy in Brasilia. A MacArthur Fellow and Professor in Practice of Architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Jeanne this year was named one of the most influential people in the world by TIME Magazine and won her largest commission to date: the 2.2 million sf O’Hare Global Terminal.

Judge: John Maeda
Technologist/ Chief Experience Officer, Publicis Sapient

John Maeda is an American technologist, designer, engineer, artist, investor, author, and teacher. He was recently appointed chief experience officer at Publicis Sapient, the technology consulting and delivery arm of communications and marketing conglomerate Publicis. He has held positions with Automattic, the parent company of; the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins; led research at the MIT Media Lab; and served as president of the Rhode Island School of Design. Named as one of the “75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century” by Esquire, Maeda draws on his diverse background as an MIT-trained engineer, award-winning designer, and executive leader to bring people and ideas together at scale.

He is the author of several celebrated books, including The Laws of Simplicity and Redesigning Leadership and his upcoming book How to Speak Machine will be available November 2019. He has appeared as a speaker all over the world, from Davos to Beijing to São Paulo to New York, and his talks for TED have received millions of views.

Judge: Yoshihiro Sawa
President, Lexus International

Yoshihiro Sawa has been innovating automobile design and engineering for over thirty years. A visionary anchored in the practical, he is acknowledged as a global leader in his field. Sawa has been involved in building better, more beautiful vehicles for decades, applying his unique perspective to the harmony of form and function. This has seen him lead various aspects of the business from engineering to design to product development, giving him a particularly holistic view of the art of building automobiles.

Sawa applies this to his role at Lexus, guiding the brand in delivering on its promise of amazing experiences through inspired design, relentless innovation, and uninhibited performance.

Mentor: Jor Doucet
Founder, Joe Doucet x Partners

A designer, entrepreneur, inventor and creative director, Joe Doucet is one of the most sought-after creative talents working in America today. After graduating from the Art Center College of Design, Doucet quickly began exporting his vision into product, furniture, environment, and technology to find solutions for daily and societal challenges through design. 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, including the London Design Museum and the Biennale International Design in Saint-Etienne. He has received numerous international awards, including a World Technology Award for Design Innovation and multiple Good Design Awards. He was also named the only ever AvantGuardian for Design by Surface Magazine. In 2017, Doucet was named the 2017 Winner of the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award as Product Designer—the highest honor in his field.

As an entrepreneur, Doucet has created and launched a myriad of businesses aimed at making the world a better place though design, including OTHR and Citizen A.

Mentor: Bethan Gray
Creative Director

London-based Bethan Gray is one the UK’s most celebrated furniture and homeware designers, having been awarded four Elle Decoration British Design Awards including the coveted Best British Designer. Her work features extensively in global media; and she has exhibited in London, Milan, Paris, New York and Dubai.

Bethan’s ancestors went on an incredible journey across continents - Bethan has since visited many of the places they passed through, inspired by a love of travel, art and culture. Today, her mission is to bring contemporary relevance to the traditional techniques from these regions – keeping both cultural narratives and craft skills alive. She believes in the power to tell stories through craft and design and has formed joint ventures based on mutual trust and respect that support over 400 master crafts people globally.

Established in 2008, Bethan Gray Design creates luxury handcrafted collections of furniture and home accessories that are sold through global retailers such as Harrods, Liberty, Lane Crawford. Within her own practice in London, she nurtures, connects and encourages new design talent and mentors upcoming female designers. She has recently launched a Prize for Women in Craft with Cardiff Metropolitan University where she is an honorary fellow.

Mentor: Philippe Malouin
Director, Philippe Malouin Studio

British-Canadian Philippe Malouin holds a bachelor’s degree in Design from the Design Academy Eindhoven. He has also studied at the École Nationale Supérieure de Création Industrielle in Paris and the University of Montreal.
He set up his studio in 2008 after working for English designer Tom Dixon. Philippe has also taught at the Royal College of Art in London between 2012-2015. He is also the director of POST-OFFICE, the architectural and interior design practice.
His diverse portfolio includes tables, rugs, chairs, lights, art objects and installations. Philippe’s client list includes SCP, Marsotto Edizioni, Resident, OTHR, Hem, Ace hotel, Matter-Made, Established & Sons, Roll & Hill, 1882 ltd., Kvadrat, Umbra Shift, Caesarstone, IZÉ, Swarovski, Bloomberg, Aesop, Touch Digital.

Philippe is represented by Salon 94 Design gallery in New York City. He has recently won the Wallpaper* Magazine 'designer of the year' award. Philippe lives and works in London, where he operates his design studio.

Mentor: Shohei Shigematsu
Partner and Director of Oma New York

Shohei Shigematsu joined OMA in 1998, has led the New York office since 2006, and became a partner in 2008. He has recently completed the renovation of Sotheby’s New York headquarters, luxury high-rise towers in San Francisco and Miami, and OMA’s first ground-up building in New York City, a residential complex at 121 East 22nd Street. Sho has successfully completed designs for cultural venues including the Quebec National Beaux Arts Museum and the Faena Arts Center in Miami Beach. Currently in progress are the expansion of Buffalo’s Albright-Knox-Gundlach Art Museum and a second building for the New Museum. Sho has also designed exhibitions for Prada, the Venice Architecture Biennale, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Park Avenue Armory, and Dior’s first US retrospective at the Denver Art Museum and Dallas Museum of Art. He oversees OMA’s projects in Japan, including a new business center in Fukuoka (2020) and OMA’s first mixed-use tower in Tokyo for Mori Building Co, Ltd. (2022).

A design critic at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Sho has lectured at TED and Wired Japan conference, and at universities throughout the world.

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 and has since sold over 1.5 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 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.

*(1,567,242 units as of June 2019)

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 each  finalists to work with a 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.

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Lexus Design Awards 2020 - Jeanne Gang

Lexus Design Awards 2020 - John Maeda

Lexus Design Awards 2020 - Paola Antonelli

Lexus Design Awards 2020 - Yoshihiro Sawa

Lexus Design Awards 2020 - Bethan Gray

Lexus Design Awards 2020 - Joe Doucet

Lexus Design Awards 2020 - Philippe Malouin

Lexus Design Awards 2020 - Shohei Shigematsu

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