Lexus Design Awards @ Salone Milan 2018

Lexus Design Awards @ Salone Milan 2018

This year marks the sixth consecutive year of the Lexus Design Award, which provides an opportunity for young innovators to showcase their designs while receiving feedback from world renowned professionals in the area of design.


For the exhibition itself, LEXUS tasked Japanese architect Sota Ichiwaka with designing the overall concept space. In the main installation, Ichikawa has used innovative methods to represent the ultimate experience of LIMITLESS CO-EXISTENCE. It was held at the Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnologia.

This initiative hopes to nurture the next generation of creators, over 4,000 people responded to the call out last July, from this 12 finalists were selected by six esteemed judges. Sir David Adjaye, architect Paola Antonelli, curator Shigeru Ban, architect Birgit Lohmann,  design commentator Alice Rawsthorn and executive vice president of LEXUS international Yoshihiro Sawa.

Four prototype winners received a mentorship by an acknowledged professional to develop a prototype of his/her submitted work. The sponsor will cover the prototype production costs up to 3 million yen ($35,000 AUD).


The mentors were Italian design duo Formafantasma, Sou Fujimoto architect, lighting designer Lindsey Adelman and Jessica Walsh designer and art director.

The prototype winners had to respond to the theme ‘CO-‘. LEXUS believes that great design can ensure the harmonious coexistence of nature and society. in that sense, ‘CO-‘ is an approach that allows the brand to explore its true potential and that of the environment by creating new possibilities through collaboration, coordination and connection.


Overall Grand Prix Winner – Extrapolation Factory (USA and Germany)

Mentor: Formafantasma

A collaboratively imagined test site that explores speculative relationships between society, technology and the environment.

Architect Michael Reynolds, who worked on the sustainable development testing sites act in New Mexico in 2007, described his project: “just as special racetracks are used to test automotive safety outside the public highway system, this piece of legislation allows testing of housing and living methods in a day-to-day living circumstance, with real people.”

Exploration Factory similarly proposes to set up a futures workshop in which they work with locals in neighborhoods to envision spaces that communities could use as test grounds for new ways of living and working. this studio will work with participants to identify key aspects or issues that concern the neighborhood, and then develop ideas for how these issues could be explored and changed through development within a testing site. What physical structures, systems, mechanisms, social situations, economies, etc. could be instituted to experiment with alternative ways of living/working that could offer better alternatives than the ones that currently exist?


Semi Finalist  CO-RKs / Digitalab (Portugal) 

Mentor: Lindsay Adelman

A system connecting cork thread, a sustainable material and computational process that generates design products by Digital Lab.

CO–RKs is more than just a shape or product, it is a generative system that connects a low-tech, sustainable material (cork thread) and computational scripts (generative design) to create a set of shapes (products) and spaces (atmospheres) with multiple functions and scales. cork thread is a unique and innovative product: non-fibrous, 100% natural and developed by Mónica Gonçalves for in.filo.

The material has the natural color of cork and the way it looks is very similar to jute. This thread was created for application in the textile industry, particularly fashion.

Currently, this material can be produced with a thickness of up to 1 millimeter or more, while maintaining its resistance to abrasion and stress-related wear and tear. it’s a robust, comfortable material, resistant to light traction and it’s also washable, keeping all the original physical properties of cork. in addition to its aesthetic and technical properties, cork thread is sustainable and environmentally friendly.


Semi Finalist Recycled Fibre Planter / Eriko Yokoi (Japan) 

Mentor: Sou Fujimoto

CO-fusion textile and green design to repurpose used clothes.

In Japan, approximately 1.5 tons of clothing products are thrown out annually and less than 15% is recycled. moreover, most of today’s clothing market consists of fast fashion driving production speed and quantity, but at the same time is the cause of major waste issues. Recycling clothes is not a new practice and there are businesses today that tear old apparel and/or collect discarded fiber materials to reconstruct them into batten cotton material. the most common uses of the material is felt and interior cushioning of car seats, but there could be other uses.

This project came from the idea of creating a substitute for soil called fiber soil by recycling old clothes made from polyester fiber. the goal is to combine a material with low recycling potential with more recyclable materials to increase the chances of reuse. the colors of the fiber soil come from the sorting and mixing the colors of the old clothes collected. in order for plants to grow, the material was formed through compression so that it contains adequate moisture and air. layering different colors of the thin sheets of fiber soil’s recycled batten cotton material also creates more complex colors.


Semi Finalist Honest Egg / Aesthid (Malaysia) 

Mentor: Jessica Walsh

Honest Egg is an intuitive and simple indicator when an egg has reached its recommended consumption date. To overcome the problem of ambiguous dating or whether the egg is safe to consume, the user can observe a graphical image or word on the egg shell to determine the egg’s edibility. Honest egg goes through a process of eggs being printed with an intelligent ink pigment that have the capability to change color in response to a pre-calibrated time period. If a cracked egg-shell or a sudden change in co2 levels or temperature is detected, the honest egg indicator can reduce the edibility date period significantly.



VNWALLS/ Vietnam

An aeroponic planting machine that contribute to the modern agriculture and farming methods created by VNWALLS.

VNWALLS GARDEN is an automated indoor machine that can grow most seedlings, vegetables, fruits, herbs and other small plants. providing additional adequate organic substrates into residential water, aeroponic is a modern farming method takes advantage in saving water and active control growing processes.

FABRIC WALL/  South Korea

Fabric block is a malleable reusable fabric cloth which can be utilized in a variety of ways: a network system, toy, architectural structure, and more by Myung Duk Chung.

Prototypes employ new methods of fabric forms to explore the structural performance of  shapes found in thin shells.

The process of fabric block’s creation involves filling a suspended sewn fabric with earth and then its 3D shape is manipulated into a soft assembly form by wrapping it around a precast block. The soft form is then hardened by a solution and the earth is emptied out, leaving behind a semi-opaque, freestanding, super lightweight shell.

CO LIVING / Vietnam and Indonesia 

Designers Khoa  Vu and Wilson Harkhono believe it should start small – starting from the basics of life; starting from the way we live. This project is a proposal for a new housing system that can inspire people to interact and collaborate more. This project was done as part of a design studio in harvard graduate school of design in spring 2017.

By pushing the boundaries of what separate homes can share with one another, we start to merge spaces as a large part of a collective living space. This arrangement will inspire people to socialize and interact more. Co-living is a living situation where the distinction between solitary homes is blurred, promoting flows and collaboration.


PAPER SKIN is a new structure using the very edge of paper as a surface. While being ‘just paper’, the structure acts and feels like the skin of a living being designed by Hiroki Furukawa.

The thin edge of one sheet of paper hardly registers in our consciousness, but even one piece has a thickness that carries color. This thickness increases by stacking several sheets of paper, and manifests as a color surface.

A thin piece of paper with a string threaded through tears easily, but arranging the paper with several layers and using precision laser cutting for string hole placement creates a strong uniform material.


A tool connecting virtual reality to physical experience, by simulating weight and touch designed by Jon Simmons.

In an increasingly reliant digital world, and many are frustrated with the need to focus in on two-dimensional screens. Virtual reality can provide more lifelike, immersive experiences, but it still lacks a staple of the physical world – weight. The gravity pen connects the intuitive, tactile world with the limitless possibilities of the digital world.

COmer/ Chile and Mexico

Set of clay containers that collaboratively accompany the process of cooking, eating and sharing bread from Sistema Simple Studio.

Seeking to connect the present with the past and the essential with the conventional, sistine simple studio designed an intangible experience built on one verb and two nouns: sharing, through bread and soil, creating a bridge where nature’s basic elements coexist: earth, water, air, fire and men.

This collective vision represents the concept behind ‘comer’, a series of containers that trace and rescue the origins of eating, sharing and cooking. The studio designed three pots which accompany the bread-making process.

GRABBY/ Russia 

A CO-adapting cutting board for people with special needs from DEAL.

Grabby is a special kitchen cutting board intended for people with special needs: those who cannot use their second hand and/or experience difficulties when cutting food. The board’s technology consists of a soft pillow covered with a kevlar fabric and an embedded vacuum pump. The pillow is filled with coffee grounds, which grabs and holds the item on the board thanks to the vacuum pump. It is possible to do things on this board with one hand.


Primavera is a graduation project at the Holon Institute of Technology. The “primavera” armchair was initiated as a research project examining materials layering and their combination.

The research studied the relationships between materials of different properties combined together into a new complete material/object.

Yael Reboh sought to find out how each material keeps its unique identity while changing according to the material it interacts with, and by that creates a new object that appears and performs in a different way.

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