The prestigious design competition awarded the highest prize to the group of designers from Kenya
TOKYO, Japan (September 1, 2020) –Lexus International has announced that BellTower from Kenya is the Grand Prix winner of the Lexus Design Award 2020. BellTower’s entry, entitled “Open Source Communities,” was selected for the coveted award from among 2,042 total submissions from 79 countries. Judging criteria for this 8th edition of the Award were based on the three key principles of the Lexus brand: Anticipate, Innovate and Captivate in the quest for a Better Tomorrow.
The winning design “Open Source Communities” addresses challenges often found in developing countries by using smart open-source planning to design affordable communities with sustainable clean water resources. Accepting the award, John Brian Kamau said ” It was a great honor for us as BellTower, to be one of the 6 finalists and then win the Grand Prix of Lexus Design Award 2020. Our journey began with many challenges. However, we persevered to showcase our ambitious concept. Our experience has taught us invaluable lifelong lessons. All our future designs will be aligned with the key principles we learned as part of the Lexus family. ”
Considering this year’s unique circumstances, Lexus innovated to create its first ever virtual jury as part of this process that supports and nurtures the next generation of creative talent. The Grand Prix winner was announced after each of the six international finalists presented to our panel of esteemed judges explaining how they would create a Better Tomorrow. The program’s four mentors, who supported and guided the finalists for six months, were also on hand for the grand finale of the Lexus Design Award 2020.
Announcing the panel’s decision, program judge and Studio Gang Founding Principal Jeanne Gang said, ” At different moments in time, design has celebrated bold aesthetics, extreme functionality, and even humor and wit. But today, with our world plagued by the enormous issues of climate change and social inequality, there is a design imperative for systemic design solutions. The Grand-Prix winner expands our definition of design to include systems of finance for community projects and engages the critical role clean drinking water plays in citizens’ ability to thrive. By addressing the way that the project will come into being and be sustained economically, the designers broaden our thinking about what design is and could be. While the project is an apparatus to collect and store rainwater for safe drinking, it is also a financial game plan for empowering a community.”
Lexus sincerely thanks the six finalists of the Lexus Design Award 2020 for their hard work and is grateful for the passion and commitment of our judges; Paola Antonelli, Jeanne Gang, John Maeda, and Simon Humphries; and mentors; Joe Doucet, Bethan Gray, Philippe Malouin, and Shohei Shigematsu.
The trophy presented to the winner was designed by Hideki Yoshimoto, a winner of the Lexus Design Award 2013 and now an established professional designer himself based in London. In Yoshimoto’s words, “This trophy will be the face of the Award for years to come, so I tried to create a simple, dignified form, free of affectation, in a design where boldness and subtlety coexist. Artisans carve the trophy from smoke-seasoned wood and lacquer made in the traditional Kawatsura style from Akita Prefecture in Japan. Handcrafting each trophy imbues it with heart and soul to resonate with the winner’s creative passion.”
For more information, please visit LexusDesignAward.com
Lexus Design Award 2021 is open for entries until October 11. Please note the details at our website, below.
Official Hashtag: #LexusDesignAward
Biocraft materials combine natural biopolymers with emerging technology to produce materials with advanced capabilities that better our health and the environment. They are intended to replace the inert products in our daily lives with ones that actively engage with their surroundings by removing CO2 from the air and disseminating nutrients.
Feltscape is a breathing cloud that fosters the philosophical idea of isolation. It is made of felt and recycled bio-plastic with an innovative robotic fabrication process. By the implementation of sensors and kinetic mechanisms, the cloud will follow the visitor's breath. The membrane rhythm gradually accelerates or decelerates guiding the occupant to inhale/exhale more slowly.
Flash Pak, installed on lamp posts, makes life jackets easily accessible and provides protection to people in high-risk flooding areas. By utilizing the natural buoyancy of the life jacket, it allows the life vest to rise up to the water’s surface for easy access regardless of how high the water is.
L.I.C.K. is a portable body cleaner that will help people who are unable to use a bath.. The device has a soft cleaning surface like a cat’s tongue similar to how cats clean their body from impurities. This cleaning surface has papillae with a U-shaped cavity, with each papillae having the same hardness, going from hard on the tip to soft at the root, just like a cat's tongue.
Open Source Communities
Open Source Communities is a proposal outlining an efficient way of designing communities in developing countries based on using smart open-source plans. The designer’s endeavor is to see how these designs may be refined to create a water resource center that is sustainable.
Pursewit, a newly designed sewing machine which simplifies use for the visually impaired. Operation is made more intuitive and tactile, aiding in the cumbersome process of sewing. It provides an opportunity for the visually impaired to gain economic stability which contributes to society as a whole.
Sutherlin Santo (Paul Sutherlin Santo, Garrett Sutherlin Santo)
Paul and Garrett Sutherlin Santo are designers from Downtown Los Angeles. Their work seeks to project a future where design’s connection to nature and technology are symmetrical by exploring the relationship of emerging digital processes, ecologically engaged materials, and traditional techniques.
Théophile Peju & Salvatore Cicero (Théophile Peju (France), Salvatore Cicero (Italy))
Country: United Kingdom
Théophile Peju & Salvatore Cicero are architectural designers based in London. They graduated from the Bartlett School of Architecture – UCL, where they pursued research on textile composite materials. Their design approach, through hands-on experience, combines traditional craftsmanship and innovative robotic fabrication techniques.
Country: China/Based in USA
Yaokun Wu is an industrial design student at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. He feels grateful for everything he has and wishes to use design to help people who need it most. He believes design is everywhere, but only that which brings people warmth will never be forgotten.
Irina Samoilova is a product & furniture designer. She is currently studying for a master's degree at Moscow State Stroganov Academy of Design and Applied Art in the furniture design department. Before starting a new design, she first studies animal shapes and how such forms already work in nature.
BellTower (John Brian Kamau, Joyce Wairimu Gachiri, Ian Githegi Kamau, Esther Wanjiku Kamau and Arvin Booker Kamau)
BellTower was established in 2014 with the vision of using open source systems and technologies to solve problems. They came together to create a team with skills in Risk Management, Information Technology, Design, Project Management and Strategy to build an open-source community model for personal, corporate and industrial needs.
Aqsa Ajmal, Industrial Designer, graduated from National University of Sciences and Technology. She is steered by her belief in design as a problem-solving tool, devising relationships between ideas and reality. Through her tangible interaction and firsthand experiments in design, she looks forward to improving connections between people and products.
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.
ABOUT LEXUS DESIGN AWARD
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 finalist 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.
East Coast Communications