The judges and mentors for the Lexus Design Award 2018 have been recently announced. Now in its sixth year, this prestigious international competition seeks to discover and nurture a new generation of talent. The event attracts thousands of aspiring creatives from around the world and inspires them to challenge common paradigms with unconventional design ideas to make our world better. Twelve winning finalists selected by an elite creative design panel of judges will have their concepts showcased at Lexus Design Event in Milan, 2018. An experience of a lifetime awaits four of these finalists, who will be mentored by some of the world’s top designers and architects. They will also receive funding (up to 3 million JPY or approximately $25,000) to bring their visions to life.
Entries to the Lexus Design Award 2018 competition are accepted from July 24 through October 08. The 12 finalists will be announced in January 2018, and the Grand Prix winner will be announced during Milan Design Week — April 16th, 2018.
“Breaking conventions and going beyond the boundaries of imagination are at the heart of Lexus’ approach to design, and the Lexus Design Award offers us an opportunity to take this approach forward and continue our passion for creating amazing experiences that ignite the emotions,”said Takayuki Yoshitsugu, Chief Representative, Middle East and North Africa Representative Office, Toyota Motor Corporation. “Lexus believes in the power of design to create a better future for all, and by bringing together a panel of world-renowned designers who will guide the selected candidates to express their full potential through the development of working prototypes of their innovative ideas, we continue our commitment toward creating opportunities for emerging design talent to flourish. Lexus Design Award has always enjoyed the strong backing of our customers and the global design community, whom we would like to thank, and we look forward to their continued support as we welcome the program’s sixth edition.”
Introducing new judges for 2018
Lexus is excited to announce a new judge for the 2018 competition, Shigeru Ban. Renowned for his ingenious use of lightweight, unconventional and environmentally responsible materials — in particular, paper and bamboo — Shigeru is changing ideas about architecture.
Returning to help judge the 2018 competition are a number of leading innovators from around the globe. Paola Antonelli is Curator of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Birgit Lohmann is Chief Editor of designboom and has worked as a designer and product developer for a number of Italian architects and master designers. Alice Rawsthorn writes about design in the International New York Times and frieze. Yoshihiro Sawa, President of Lexus International, started his own career in the automotive industry working on production and design.
Top global creatives will mentor winning finalists
The four prototype finalists will enjoy a hands-on experience working with pioneers and well-known creators in a number of exciting fields. One of the most renowned Japanese architects today, Sou Fujimoto, creates futuristic structures incorporating natural and architectural elements. The Italian design duo, Andrea Trimarchi, and Simone Farresin make up Amsterdam-based Studio Formafantasma. Their work has been presented and published internationally at museums such as New York's MoMA and London’s Victoria and Albert, and they teach design in various universities and institutions in Europe. Contemporary lighting designer Lindsey Adelman skyrocketed to fame with her branching chandelier designs, and now leads a team of designers, glass artists and craftspeople in her studios in New York and Los Angeles. New York-based designer and art director Jessica Walsh has won awards from most major design competitions, and she was awarded Forbes Magazine’s ‘30 under 30 top creatives designing the future’.
Judge and Mentor Profiles
Shigeru Ban / Architect
Born in Tokyo in 1957. Graduated from the Cooper Union. Started working for Arata Isozaki & Associates in 1982. Founded Shigeru Ban Architects in 1985. Became consultant to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in 1995. Established the NGO, Voluntary Architects' Network (VAN) in the same year to support disaster relief. Selected works include Nicolas G. Hayek Center, Centre Pompidou- Metz, and Oita Prefecture Art Museum. Recipient of multiple awards, including Grande Médaille d’or de l’Académie d’architecture (2004), Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Prize in Architecture (2005), Grand Prize of AIJ (2009), Honorary Doctorate from Technische Universität München (2009), L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France (le grade d’officier) (2010), Auguste Perret Prize (2011), Art Prize from the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs (2012), L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France (le grade de commandeur) (2014) and JIA Gran Prix (2016). Served as Professor at Keio University (2001-2008), Visiting Professor of Harvard University GSD and Cornell University (2010), and currently Professor at Kyoto University of Art and Design (2011-), Guest Professor at Keio University (2015-). Laureate of the 2014 Pritzker Architecture Prize.
Paola Antonelli / Senior Curator, MoMa
Paola Antonelli is Senior Curator of Architecture & Design at The Museum of Modern Art, as well as MoMA’s founding Director of Research & Development. Her goal is to promote design’s understanding until its positive influence on the world is universally acknowledged. Her work investigates design’s impact on the everyday experience, often including overlooked objects and practices, and combining design, architecture, art, science, and technology. She has curated numerous shows, written several books, and lectured worldwide. She has taught at the University of California, Los Angeles; the Harvard Graduate School of Design; and the MFA programs of the School of Visual Arts in New York. She is currently working on an exhibition on the 111 garments that changed the world; on Design Bites, a book about foods from all over the world appreciated as examples of design; and on a book collecting her essays on the different fields of contemporary design.
Birgit Lohmann / Chief Editor of designboom
Born in Hamburg, Lohmann studied industrial design in Florence before moving to Milan, where she has lived and worked since 1987. She worked as a designer and product development manager for a number of Italian architects and master designers. She has also worked as a design historian for justice departments and international auction houses. As a researcher and lecturer, she has conducted seminars on industrial design at a number of prestigious international universities. In 1999, she co-founded designboom, where she is currently the Chief Editor, Head of Educational Programming and Curator for International Exhibitions.
Alice Rawsthorn / Design Commentator
Alice Rawsthorn is an award-winning design critic, who has written about design for the New York Times for over a decade. Her latest book Hello World: Where Design Meets Life explores design’s impact on our lives. Her next book, A Field Guide to Design, is to be published in spring 2018 as a survey of design today. Alice speaks on design at important global events including TED and the World Economic Forum’s annual meetings in Davos, Switzerland. Based in London, she is chair of trustees of the Chisenhale Gallery and the contemporary dance group Michael Clark Company, and a trustee of the Whitechapel Gallery. Alice was awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to design and the arts.
Yoshihiro Sawa / President of Lexus International
Yoshihiro Sawa graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering and Design from Kyoto Institute of Technology. He has held a number of design-related positions since joining Toyota Motor Corporation in 1980, including Chief Officer of Global Design, Planning Division. He became President of Lexus International in April 2017.
Formafantasma / Designer
Sou Fujimoto / Architect
Lindsey Adelman / Designer
Decades before founding her eponymous studio, Lindsey Adelman was already designer — just not publicly so. First, she was simply a precarious, curious child, building endlessly in the backyards of suburban New York, uncertain of how to make a career of it; then, an English student at Kenyon College; then, on the editorial staff at The Smithsonian Institution. Fortunately, there, her accidental discovery of industrial design — in the literal form of a fabricated foam French fry — propelled her off to RISD to make a life of that childhood passion. Today, from her studios in New York and Los Angeles, she manipulates light to create fixtures that are as emotive as they are physically transformative — objects imbibed with their own history and meaning, often unselfconsciously so, that give color and texture and depth to the world around them.
Jessica Walsh / Graphic Designer