LEXUS design award provides an opportunity for young innovators to showcase their works while receiving feedback from world renowned professionals in the area of design. Through this initiative, LEXUS hopes to nurture and support world-enriching creators
This year’s theme was Senses. Senses are intrinsic to life: they are what allow us to perceive the world. Taking this purposefully broad theme, considering seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling and tasting, the event tries to open ourselves up to a wide range of possibilities.
This theme is particularly relevant to Lexus, as the whole driving experience is about senses: from seeing the striking exterior design of our cars, to hearing the sound of the finely tuned engines and feeling the sensation of the steering wheel when you round a corner. Everything is engaged.
The Lexus Design Award has always chosen themes that encourage broad thinking. Senses takes this a step further, being a theme that encouraged responses that explore the five senses in pioneering ways.
This year’s Grand Prix Winner was Sense-wear. Sense-Wear is a collection of clothes and accessories that emphasize the use of senses. Their primary purpose is to stimulate and improve awareness of our senses, while training us to better use them all. Some Sense-Wear items are designed to mute physical sensations, some to sharpen them.
Squeeze-me is a multi-purpose scarf for use in an emotional emergency. Normally worn around the head, its elastic material makes it stretchable around the body to generate a deep pressure that can calm the wearer like a warm hug.
Shake-me is a necklace for tasting, touching and shaking. Several extensions provide different textures and flavours. It recalls multi-sensory kids’ toys in that it can be used to train in discerning different tastes and different tactile experiences, (ideally with the eyes closed).
The Pump-me jacket incorporates an inflatable device to buffer the wearer against unwanted external sensations and create a contact-free personal space.
Pull-me is an aromatic scarf, effectively a portable collection of familiar scents and fragrances that is used to conjure up pleasant moments and comfortable sensations. Its several retractable extensions can be loaded with scents, specimens, or small objects.
Hold-me is a hoodie poncho that makes sounds, helping to focalize the wearer’s auditory capabilities. It is covered with musical flakes that emit sound in response to movements, while two built-in super ears help the wearer listen to these new, unexpected sounds.
The designer was Emanuela Corti and Ivan Parati, and the mentor was Robin Hunicke.
Regarding the prototype winners we highlight Diomedeidae. Diomedeidae is a kinetic lighting sculpture that leverages its own flapping movement to generate electricity and power LED lights. Pulling down and releasing the weight in the centre sets it in motion.
Humans are highly attuned to movement associated with the existence of life. Like a bird flapping or a firefly flickering, Diomedeidae’s oscillation and lighting directly visualize the subtle fluctuations in energy that appeal to our innate senses.