Everything You Need to Know About the Lexus Design Award 2019

The Lexus Design Award is back for 2019, highlighting the best in design innovations. Lexus receives thousands of entries each year from countries all over the world, and as per usual, the company has narrowed them down to just six. These six finalists have been hard at work developing a prototype of their inventions, with help from some of the top experts in the world. The winner, known as the Grand Prix Winner, was announced on April 8th at Milan Design Week after each finalist presented their prototype to an esteemed panel of judges.

This new generation of designers was tasked with creating a “Design for a Better Tomorrow,” with guiding principles being “anticipate,” “innovate,” and “captivate.” In essence, all prototypes had to anticipate the needs of a future society, be innovative and forward-thinking, and engage and captivate the audience and judges at Milan Design Week.

This year’s finalists all submitted a product that spoke to the correlation between design and technology, and many even incorporated an environmentally-friendly aspect, such as using biodegradable materials or renewable energy sources. Below is a breakdown of each design submitted by the six finalists for the Lexus Design Award 2019.

Winner: Algorithmic Lace – Lisa Marks, USA

For her submission, Marks has created a bra intended for post-mastectomy women. It is generated using a new methodology that creates 3D lace out of algorithmic patterning. This method of production and the material used results in a much more comfortable alternative to a typical bra on the market today.

Official bio: Lisa Marks is an Industrial Designer specializing in combining craft research with algorithmic design in order to promote sustainable methods to help craft communities. Lisa has an MFA from Parsons School of Design and is currently faculty at Georgia Institute of Technology.

Arenophile – Rezzan Hasoglu, UK

A product designer based in London, Hasoglu has proposed a new use for desert sand, an under-utilized resource. For her submission, she is working on creating composite materials which can then be used to make products, achieved by mixing sand with non-toxic binders.

Official bio: Rezzan Hasoglu is a product designer based in London. She graduated from Royal College of Art. Her design approach is very hands-on whilst combining digital tools. Focused on research and experimentation inspired from natural phenomena, she seeks ways of translating cultural nuances into tangible objects through exploring processes and materials.

Baluto – Jeffrey E. Dela Cruz – Philippines

Taking inspiration from Filipino architectural designs, Jeffrey E. Dela Cruz is the third finalist for the Lexus Design Award 2019. His submission, titled Baluto, is a project centred on flood mitigation. Dela Cruz is proposing a housing strategy that can handle — and survive — a rapid rise in water levels.

Official bio: Jeffrey Dela Cruz is an architecture graduate from Saint Louis University, Baguio City, Philippines. He interprets Filipino architectural designs and is often inspired by indigenous forms, materials, and constructions. He hopes his work will eventually have an impact in the research field.

Green Blast Jet Energy – Dmitriy Balashov, Russia

A specialist in industrial design, Balashov has created a machine that is able to collect the energy of a jet blast, emitted when an airplane takes off and lands, and repurpose that energy for use in various capacities at the airport.

Official bio: Dmitriy Balashov specializes in Industrial Design. He studied at the Bauman Moscow State Technical University. He is inspired by unique and innovative ideas that offer comfort and rationality.

Hydrus – Shuzhan Yuan, China

A recent graduate from Xiamen University of Technology, Yuan has created Hydrus, a type of equipment that can be used to mitigate the effects of an offshore oil spill; operated remotely, this device automates the process and reduces the amount of resources needed for fast and effective damage control.

Official bio: Shuzhan Yuan is a product designer and graduated from Xiamen University of Technology. He tries to encourage deep thinking about meaningful things in our life through design. He compares design with the study and interpretation of this unknown world.

Solgami – Prevalent (Ben Berwick), Australia

Submitted by Prevalent, an architectural startup run by Berwick, Solgami is an innovative window blind. It is created using geometric origami and allows residents of an apartment building to have greater control over their privacy, as well as whether they want to have more illumination indoors or more electricity generation, thanks to incorporated solar panels.

Official bio: Ben Berwick runs Prevalent, an architectural startup focusing on social spaces and spatial technology. He specializes in advanced design, and received a Master’s degree in engineering whilst a Fellow at the University of Tokyo. He has a background in architecture from the University of Sydney, where he now teaches.




Images and biographical information via Lexus.


Emily Southey
Emily Southey is a freelance writer from Vancouver. Currently based in Toronto, it was during her time studying History and English at McGill and University College London that she became interested in writing. When she's not working, you can typically find her in a museum, baking cupcakes, watching Disney musicals, or Instagramming her new favourite coffee spot.