Lexus design award 2020 finalists revealed

Shortlist gathers six innovative solutions for a better tomorrow

Lexus has announced the six finalists for the 2020 Lexus Design Award, each of whom will receive mentorship from renowned design leaders together with funding of up to 3,000,000 yen (over $27,000 US) to create prototypes of their projects. The finalists represent the United States, China, Europe, Pakistan, and Kenya, and were selected from a record-setting group of 2,042 submissions from 79 countries.

Now in its eighth year, the Lexus Design Award provides a unique platform for young creators to demonstrate and further develop their talents. The proposals were selected based on their expression of 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 2020 Finalists

  • Bio.Scales, by Sutherlin Santo (USA): A modular, carbon sequestering air filtration system assembled from robotically 3D printed biopolymer scales.
  • Feltscape, by Théophile Peju & Salvatore Cicero (France, Italy / Based in the United Kingdom): A breathing cloud made out of felt which interacts with people and space to enhance well-being.
  • Flash Pak, by Yaokun Wu (China / Based in the USA): A smart survival apparatus that protects young students and helps them stay together in flash floods.
  • Lick, by Irina Samoilova (Russia): A portable body cleaner for humans with a unique surface similar to a cat’s tongue.
  • Open Source Communities, by BellTower (Kenya): A project exploring the future of smart sustainable communities in developing countries using open-source home plans.

Pursewit, by Aqsa Ajmal (Pakistan): An accessible sewing machine that incorporates sewing skills to assist in income generation for the visually impaired.

Lexus Design Award 2020 judge John Maeda commented: “This year’s Lexus Design Award finalists speak to two main themes: consciousness and the environment, which are increasingly relevant as technological progress impacts our world. As design projects, they go beyond just asking questions to provide concrete answers based on innovative reasoning and practiced opinions on engineering. Narrowing the massive list of entries down to the small set of representative works was not a simple task. In the end, I think we found the right set of captivating projects to represent the themes of mind and body that are critical to our future.”
Kei Fujita, Chief Representative of Middle East & Central Asia Representative Office, Toyota Motor Corporation said: “We are excited to see that the Lexus Design Award, now in its eighth year, is increasingly becoming recognized amongst creatives from around the world. The submissions this year were exceptional in terms of ideas, and we set a new record of over 2,000 entries from 79 countries. Design and craftsmanship have always been a fundamental part of the Lexus brand. The Lexus Design Award builds on this rich heritage by empowering the next generation of creators by allowing them to develop unique ideas and work under the expert guidance of distinguished mentors to showcase their designs to the world.”
He added: “I would like to thank everyone involved in the success of this unique platform, together with our loyal customers whose continuous support fuels our passion to reach beyond the conventional and create amazing experiences.”

The six finalists traveled to New York City in January for a life-changing workshop experience with four acclaimed mentors; Joe Doucet, Founder of Joe Doucet X Partners; Bethan Gray, Creative Director at Bethan Gray Design; Philippe Malouin, Director of Philippe Malouin Studio; and Shohei Shigematsu, Partner and Director of OMA New York. The workshop took place at INTERSECT BY LEXUS-NYC, the brand’s unique lifestyle space, and kicked-off an ongoing interaction between finalists and mentors that will continue in the lead-up to the judging session in Italy.

The finalists will present their completed prototypes to the world during Milan Design Week in April, with the winner to be selected by the esteemed judging panel that includes Simon Humphries, Head of Lexus Global Design. Appointed to oversee design in 2018, Humphries seeks to define Lexus' unique values in the form of a brand philosophy that incorporates a clear cultural reference to Lexus' Japanese heritage and building a design direction that is relevant to users around the world.

He will be joined by fellow judges Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator of Architecture & Design and founding Director of Research & Development at The Museum of Modern Art in New York; Jeanne Gang, the founding principal and partner of internationally renowned architecture and urban design practice Studio Gang; and John Maeda, a renowned American technologist, designer, engineer, artist, investor, author, and teacher.

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Official Hashtag: #LexusDesignAward

About Lexus

Lexus launched in 1989 with a flagship sedan and a guest experience that helped define the premium automotive industry. In 1998, Lexus introduced the luxury crossover category with the launch of the Lexus RX. The luxury hybrid sales leader, Lexus delivered the world’s first luxury hybrid and has since sold over 1.5 million hybrid vehicles.

A global luxury automotive brand with an unwavering commitment to bold, uncompromising design, exceptional craftsmanship, and exhilarating performance, Lexus has developed its lineup to meet the needs of the next generation of global luxury guests and is currently available in over 90 countries worldwide.

Lexus associates/team members across the world are dedicated to crafting amazing experiences that are uniquely Lexus, and that excite and change the world.

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 and creators whose works can help to shape a better future. It provides a unique opportunity for each finalist 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.


For more information, please contact:

Ismail Yagan

General Manager

Lexus Middle East

Tel: +9714 2993875

Mobile: +97156 1797456


About Al-Futtaim

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

Structured into four operating divisions; automotive, financial services, real estate and retail; employing more than 42,000 employees across 25 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 organisation 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. For more information visit:

For more information, please contact:

Saad Abdullah

GM Marketing Toyota and Lexus

Mobile: +971 56 548 8159 | Email:

Alaa Tarawneh

Digital Marketing Manager – Toyota | Lexus

Mobile: +971 55 247 1782 | Email:

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