We look forward to the Lexus Design Award finalist announcement each year not because it means another glamorous exhibition in Milan (although that's not so bad) but because of the variety and high level of projects that Lexus continues to select. This year, we're especially excited to note that many of the projects are industrial design-focused and that all of them approach a specific design need through a social impact lens.
Three of the projects take the "industrial" part of industrial design to the nth degree, focusing on machinery and tech that can help harness energy and eliminate oil spills, while the others focus on material applications for health and environmental purposes. Take a look below, and let us know your thoughts in the comments:
Algorithmic Lace by industrial designer Lisa Marks uses algorithmic patterning to explore creating custom three-dimensional lace. Marks' current focus is using this technology to create bras for post-mastectomy women.
Product designer Rezzan Hasoglu investigates the properties of desert sand mixed with various binding materials through her project. Titled Arenophile, Hasoglu's research will culminate into a variety of project options based on her experimentation.
Green Blast Jet Energy by industrial designer Dmitriy Balashov is able to collect and harvest the energy from jet takeoffs so that airports can repurpose it for different needs.
Product designer Shuzhan Yuan's Hydrus is emergency treatment equipment for offshore oil spills that lets people directly address one of our climate's biggest concerns.
Solgami by architect Ben Berwick of Prevalent is an origami-esque window blind system for apartments that allows the user to choose between allowing more light into their space and electricity generation. This project bridges the gap between architecture and industrial design, so we're particularly curious to see this outcome.
Jeffrey Dela Cruz's Baluto is a structure that provides a habitable space able to withstand sudden rises in water level, ultimately helping to make areas with high flood probability more livable. This one is not as ID related, but it's also cool.
Lexus recently hosted a mentorship workshop at their Intersect space in NYC where the above finalists worked closely with a group of four Lexus-selected mentors to further develop their projects. During the current phase of the competition, the finalists will have access to the mentors while they continue to develop their projects. This year, the mentors include Sebastian Wrong of Established & Sons, John Maeda, Shohei Shigematsu of OMA, Jessica Rosenkrantz of Nervous System and Jaime Hayon of Hayon Studio.
The final projects will be exhibited at Lexus' event space at Milan Design Week starting April 8, 2019 and then judged by an illustrious jury panel that includes John Maeda, Paola Antonelli, Sir David Adjaye and President of Lexus International Yoshihiro Sawa.
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