Al-Futtaim Lexus Reveals Six Finalists for Lexus Design Award 2021

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Shortlist gathers innovative design solutions for a better tomorrow

Dubai, UAE: Al-Futtaim Automotive, the official distributor of Lexus in the UAE, has announced that Lexus International has recently revealed the six finalists for the Lexus Design Award 2021, each of whom will enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime experience and mentorship from renowned design leaders as they prototype their ideas with a budget of over USD 28,000 (over AED 100,000) per project. The finalists were selected by a distinguished jury from among 2,079 entries submitted by creators in 66 countries. 

This year marks the ninth edition of the Lexus Design Award, which was established to support up-and-coming creators to demonstrate and further develop their talents. The program recognises fresh design talent and showcases their innovations on a prominent and respected international platform. In selecting this year’s six finalists, judges looked for innovative ideas that embodied the three key principles of the Lexus brand―Anticipate, Innovate, and Captivate―with an emphasis on design that leads to a better tomorrow. 

Lexus Design Award 2021 Finalists: 

  1. CY-BO by Kenji Abe (Japan)
    Sustainable, reusable packaging material that can be assembled like cells.
  2. Heartfelt by Gayle Lee and Jessica Vea (New Zealand & Tonga, based in New Zealand)
    A device that enables virtual hugs.
  3. InTempo by Alina Holovatiuk (Ukraine)

Mitts that may help distract from stressful situations by novel usage of rhythm and music.

  1. KnitX by Irmandy Wicaksono (Indonesia, based in USA)

Digital 3D knitting of functional, electronic textiles for multi-modal visual, auditory, and tactile material interaction.

  1. Solar Desalination Skylight by Henry Glogau (Dual New Zealand & Austria, based in Denmark)

A device that uses seawater to create natural diffused light, drinking water, and leftover salt for energy creation.

  1. Terracotta Valley Wind by Intsui Design (China, based in Japan)

A terracotta evaporative cooling system for subway stations utilizing train-induced wind to function. 

Lexus Design Award 2020 judge Greg Lynn commented: “In the middle of a changing climate and a global pandemic, there was a predictable urgency to the problems being addressed by the designers. Across all the proposals we saw, there was also a humanity and intimate scale.” 

Kei Fujita, Chief Representative of Middle East & Central Asia Representative Office, Toyota Motor Corporation, said: “Our six finalists have embarked on an inspiring journey as they harness their creativity to develop forward-thinking solutions that can shape a better future for all. I’m extremely impressed by the standard of entries considering the challenges presented by the global pandemic, an event that has truly demonstrated the importance of innovation.” 

Fujita added: “This unique platform empowers the next generation of creators and reflects the passion for design and craftsmanship at the heart of the Lexus brand. I would like to thank everyone involved in the success of the Lexus Design Award, together with our customers around the world, for their constant support on our drive to create amazing experiences.” 

In mid-January, the six finalists participated in a five-day workshop with the four Lexus Design Award 2021 mentors, namely Joe Doucet, Sabine Marcelis, Mariam Kamara, and Sputniko!. The mentors’ passion for nurturing young talent combined with a richly challenging curriculum resulted in highly instructive and productive sessions that fully engaged both the finalists and the mentors. 

Following the workshop, mentor Mariam Kamara commented: “The mentoring sessions have been quite stimulating. I was struck by the level of optimism and commitment the finalists have shown in their designs. In this new COVID-19 reshaped world, their vision and sensitivity are a gift to us all. Each one of them was incredibly passionate about their projects and demonstrated a strong motivation to delve deeper and do the necessary research to strengthen the final result. Though the mentoring was remote, a combination of powerful online tools and well-prepared finalists made for a fluid, productive, and enjoyable process. I look forward to seeing where they take their designs in the coming months.” 

Finalists will continue to work with the mentors as they develop their prototypes toward the Grand Prix selection. A judging panel featuring renowned design leaders Paola Antonelli, Dong Gong, Greg Lynn, and Simon Humphries will select the Grand Prix winner in April 2021 based on their final prototypes and presentations. 

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 shape a better future. It provides a unique opportunity for each of six 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. 

About Al-Futtaim – Lexus:

Since its debut in 1989, Lexus has earned a worldwide reputation for high-quality vehicles and exemplary customer service in line with its Japanese ‘omotenashi’ roots – the tradition of anticipatory hospitality. Leader in hybrid technology in the luxury automotive scene, both globally and locally, Lexus offers the largest line-up of Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV), which boast a number of advantages over traditional powertrains, such as high performance, unmatched fuel efficiency, substantial emissions saving, noise reduction and instantaneous acceleration.

In the UAE, Lexus is distributed by the Al-Futtaim Automotive Group and enjoys a strong network of showrooms and service centres across all seven Emirates.

The Lexus sedan line-up includes IS, ES, ES Hybrid, GS, GS Hybrid, LS and LS Hybrid and the SUV range includes UX, NX, RX and RX Hybrid, GX and LX. While the coupe range features the Lexus RC, LC and LC Hybrid, the F marque, home for Lexus performance vehicles, produces RCF and GSF high-performance cars. 

Al-Futtaim Lexus is also home for INTERSECT BY LEXUS, a luxury space at DIFC where guests can enjoy hand-crafted food and drinks, while connecting with like-minded people and enjoying the premium Lexus lifestyle.

About Al-Futtaim Automotive:

Al-Futtaim Automotive, one of the main five operating divisions within the UAE-based Al-Futtaim Group of companies, is a conglomerate of motoring-related businesses, franchising some of the world’s most-recognised automotive brands and services.

Operating in 10 countries across the Middle East, Asia and Africa and empowered by around 9,000 associates, the UAE-headquartered Group’s services span across distribution of new and used vehicles, manufacturing, leasing, and aftersales.

Ranging from passenger cars to SUVs, commercial vehicles, industrial and construction equipment as well as motorbikes and quads, Al-Futtaim Automotive Group offers an integrative customer-centric experience for motorists, fleet operators and contractors alike, and strives to become the leader in tailor-made mobility solutions.

About Al-Futtaim:

Established in the 1930s as a trading business, Al-Futtaim Group today is one of the most diversified and progressive, privately held regional businesses headquartered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. 

Structured into five operating divisions; automotive, financial services, real estate, retail and health; employing more than 42,000 employees in more than 20 countries in the Middle East, Asia and Africa, we partner with over 200 of the world’s most admired and innovative brands. 

Al-Futtaim’s entrepreneurship and relentless customer focus enables the organization to continue to grow and expand; responding to the changing needs of our customers within the societies in which we operate. 

By upholding our values of respect, excellence, collaboration, integrity; Al-Futtaim continues to enrich the lives and aspirations of our customers each and every day.