AGAR PLASTICITY is a project exploring how agar, a gelatinous material obtained from marine algae, can be used as an environmentally friendly packaging material alternative to plastic."Seaweed-derived agar is traditionally consumed as food in Japan, and used in scientific and medical fields worldwide. Sold in a dry state, agar shows porous, feathery structure and is very light despite its volume. We have taken notice of these features and have been exploring its possibility as packaging material. Goods are usually shipped wrapped in plastic materials. Once unwrapped, they soon become waste or are collected to be recycled. Considering the raw materials and energy for processing, this situation is undesirable. It can serve as a material to improve the water-retention property of soil, and should it drift in the sea, it would not harm marine lives."
Anticipating effective and sustainable utilization of natural resources has become more and more indispensable. Believing biodegradable substitutes to plastics are needed, we took this opportunity to tackle this seemingly ignored problem. Agar can be extracted by boiling specific kinds of red algae and then dehydrating the soup. Its resultant state depends on the ways of dehydration, and the types of red algae. For a soft cushioning structure, it's frozen, for stiff film-like state, it's compressed. Because agar is also moldable, it was proposed not only as a cushioning material, but also as packaging material. We have also explored the possibility of an agar-derived plastic material. After use, agar products can be disposed of in an environmentally-friendly way.
Lexus Design Award 2016 mentors and judges convened at INTERSECT BY LEXUS - TOKYO to choose this year's finalists. Out of the 1,232 works submitted from 73 countries, 12 entries have been chosen. 4 of these finalists will produce prototypes of their designs under the mentorship of globally recognized creators. These prototypes will be featured as part of the Lexus exhibition at this year's Milan Design Week, along with panel presentations from the other 8 finalists.
At Lexus, we strive to develop products and services by anticipating the needs of people and society. This year’s applicants are encouraged to submit innovative designs and unique interpretations that are true to the essence of the theme.
DADA is a block toy which can be freely combined using bands, holes, and pegs to stimulate each child's imagination. "Children have wild imagination, so every child has their own unique world. They tell their stories with passion. Toys are products they can use to express their world. But existing toy blocks have fixed forms and standardized connecting structures. They limit children's imagination. What if children could make toy creatures using various blocks that correspond to their anticipation? Children choose various blocks to create various objects. They would create works that reflect their inner self using unique colors and shapes.
DADA blocks develop children's sensibility. Familiar objects can be connected through banding, putting in the holes, allowing children to create whatever they want and choose their own combination methods. A roll-up bag makes it easy for them to bring the blocks outside. They can simply unfold the bag to play. DADA is a simple block kit. But it can be turned into various forms with the children's anticipation. The blocks can also help them anticipate the future."
Shape Shifters is a special cut of garment, applying modular principles to textiles, which allows creating different outfits. "Currently, fashion houses showcase four to six collections annually, with various offerings throughout each collection displaying redundancy in fabrication and silhouette, led me to question how to innovate within this realm; anticipating development of intelligent and adaptable construction that embeds shape change. Building upon my MA in Material Futures from Central Saint Martins, as a platform for exploration, Shape Shifters displays how modular principles can create dynamic garments with embedded silhouette versatility. Specifically, focus is placed on the linking of modular components via hinge-based systems. This provides the wearer freedom to configure the garment's silhouette based on style preference. I believe this will enrich people's lives by providing an adaptable garment that will serve a variety of purposes; minimizing consumption whilst maximizing individuality.
Specifically, the garment system evokes a sense of play, while offering active participation in design and encouraging positive self-image. My technical background in Fashion Design [B. Des (Hons) from Ryerson University [Canada]]. Throughout the research and development of the project, traditional construction techniques were utilized via industrial machinery. Adobe platforms were explored to develop laser cut files for initial prototypes. Sampling also included the use of Stratasys PolyJet 3D printing technology, where multi-materials of various rigidities were utilized to test if the textile could be printed in one process and remove the assembly component of the procedure. The project's main discovery was that 3d printing technology is not a suitable replacement for the ‘textile,’ as friction at hinge points impaired movability in even the most flexible 3d print materials available today. This discovery led me back to more traditional methods for the full-scale initial prototypes, where the intersection of natural and man-made materials, followed by passive hinge systems allowed for silhouette variability and comfort on the body."
Trace is a clock that uses a liquid with UV rays and discoloration properties, allowing us to visualize the passing time. "Anticipation is about our expectation of the future. Every second that passes is an opportunity to affect this path before us, yet in this fast paced society, how many of us take action? When we considered the theme of anticipation, we were naturally drawn to the concept of time. ‘Trace’ is a clock that uses UV light to invoke a color change within a transparent photochromic solution. Every second, minute and hour is marked by a UV light beam that rotates around the face of the clock.
This UV light triggers the photochromic change, leaving a trace of color as time sweeps by. This solution fades back to transparent after around 60 seconds, leaving a trail that completely erases itself. ‘Trace’ is about visualizing the present moment. There is anticipation in the color change of the liquid, and anticipation in how it fades away. And if the future is based on our past, our anticipation for change should drive us to action in the present. ‘Trace’ is a reminder that in order to create the future that we anticipate, we must act towards it."
Sense-Wear is a collection of sense-oriented garments and accessories. Their primary purpose is to stimulate and improve awareness of our senses, while training us to better user them all. Some Sense-Wear items are designed to mute physical sensations and other to sharpen them.
Squeeze-me is a multiple-purpose scarf for use in an emotional emergency. Normally worn around the head, it's elastic material makes it stretchable around the body to generate a deep pressure the 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.