Lexus Design Award 2020 Winner to be Selected at Virtual Event

30 June 2020

The winner of the Lexus Design Award 2020 is to be decided at a Virtual Grand Prix Selection event in August, prior to the results being revealed on 1 September.

This year’s award received a record 2,042 entries from 79 countries. The Virtual Grand-Prix Selection will link the six award finalists with the judging panel of international experts Paola Antonelli, Jeanne Gang, John Maeda, and Simon Humphries. The judges’ decision will be based on the three key Lexus brand principles: Anticipate, Innovate, and Captivate, with an emphasis on design that leads to a better tomorrow.

“We were presented with a unique set of circumstances this year,” said Brian Bolain, Lexus International, General Manager of Global Marketing & PR, “but Lexus remains focused on the award’s original mission of supporting tomorrow’s creators with a new launchpad for their careers.”

“Great designers thrive in difficult situations, and help individuals and society deal with unexpected change,” said Paola Antonelli. “This year’s finalists have already passed the first important test by continuing their good work despite complex circumstances. We will miss meeting them in person, but we look forward to their experiments and to the new wisdom that they will bring to the virtual Grand Prix Selection.”

In January, the six finalists participated in a workshop in New York City where they met four mentors from the world of international design, Joe Doucet, Bethan Gray, Philippe Malouin and Shohei Shigematsu, who shared their wisdom and expertise. The workshop was held at Lexus’s lifestyle space, INTERSECT BY LEXUS-NYC. In the following months the finalists benefited from ongoing guidance and support from their mentors, via one-on-one online sessions, which helped them prepare their works for the final judging process.   The four Mentors will also join the virtual Grand Prix selection event.

 New Grand Prix trophy

A Grand Prix trophy will be unveiled for this year’s Lexus Design Award winner.  It was designed by Hideki Yoshimoto, who won the first Lexus Design Award in 2013 and has become a successful designer, based in London and working with global brands. The trophy design will incorporate his engineering background and commitment to Japanese takumi craftsmanship and will be used for all future Lexus Design Award events.

Lexus Design Award 2020 finalists

 Biocraft, by Sutherlin Santo (USA)

Biocraft materials combine natural biopolymers with emerging technology to produce materials with advanced capabilities that improve our health and the environment. They are intended to replace the inert products in our daily lives with ones that actively engage with their surroundings by removing CO2 from the air and disseminating nutrients.

Paul and Garrett Sutherlin Santo are designers from Los Angeles. Their work seeks to project a future where design’s connection to nature and technology is symmetrical, by exploring the relationship of emerging digital processes, ecologically engaged materials and traditional techniques.

Feltscape, by Théophile Peju and Salvatore Cicero (France, Italy/based in the UK)

Feltscape is a breathing cloud that fosters the philosophical idea of isolation. It is made of felt and recycled bioplastic, using an innovative robotic fabrication process. By the implementation of sensors and kinetic mechanisms, the cloud will follow the visitor’s breath. The membrane rhythm gradually accelerates or decelerates, guiding the occupant to inhale/exhale slower.

Théophile Peju and Salvatore Cicero are architectural designers based in London. They graduated from the Bartlett School of Architecture at UCL, where they pursued research into textile composite materials. Their design approach, through hands-on experience, combines traditional craftsmanship and innovative robotic fabrication techniques.

Flash Pak, by Yaokun Wu (China/based in USA)

Flash Pak, installed on lamp posts, makes life jackets easily accessible to people in high-risk flood zones. The natural buoyancy of the life jacket allows it to rise up to the water’s surface for easy access, regardless of the height of the water level.

Yaokun Wu is an industrial design student at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. He wishes to use design to help people who need it most. He believes design is everywhere.

L.I.C.K., by Irina Samoilova (Russia)

 L.I.C.K. is a portable body cleaner that will help people who are unable to use a bath. The device has a soft cleaning surface that cleans the body of impurities. This cleaning surface has papillae with a U-shaped cavity and different hardness, just like a cat’s tongue.

Irina Samoilova is a product and furniture designer. She is currently studying for a master’s degree at Moscow State Stroganov Academy of Design and Applied Art. Before starting a new design, Irina first studies animal shapes and how they work in nature.

Open Source Communities, by BellTower (Kenya) 

Open Source Communities is a proposal outlining an efficient way of designing communities in developing countries, based on using smart open-source plans. The designer’s aim is to see how these designs may be refined to create a sustainable water resource centre.

BellTower (John Brian Kamau, Joyce Wairimu Gachiri, Ian Githegi Kamau, Esther Wanjiku Kamau and Arvin Booker Kamau) was established in 2014, with the vision of using open source systems and technologies to solve problems. They came together to create a team with skills in risk management, information technology, design, project management and strategy, to build an open-source community model for personal, corporate and industrial needs.

Pursewit, by Aqsa Ajmal (Pakistan)

The Pursewit has a sleek design that invites you to sew. By simplifying sewing machine use for the visually impaired, operation is made more intuitive and tactile, to help with the cumbersome process of sewing.

Aqsa Ajmal, an industrial designer, graduated from the National University of Sciences and Technology in Pakistan. She is steered by her belief in design as a problem-solving tool, devising relationships between ideas and reality. Through her tangible interaction and first-hand experiments in design, she looks forward to improving connections between people and products.

2021 Lexus Design Award open for entries

Entries for the Lexus Design Award 2021 open today (30 March 2020) and will close on 11 October 2020.  The award judges and mentors will be announced in the autumn.

For more information, please visit

Official Hashtag: #LexusDesignAward


Notes to Editors

Biographies of the Lexus Design Award judges are available on request.

About the 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 whose works can help to shape a better future. It provides a unique opportunity for each finalist to work with a globally recognised design mentor to create prototypes of their designs, and then exhibit them at one of the design calendar’s most important events.


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Lexus Design Award 2020 Winner to be Selected at Virtual Event


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