‘Yet’ is Creative Muse for Lexus Design Award 2017 – Now Open for Entries

(TORONTO, ON. – August 10, 2016) Lexus International today announced its call for entries for the Lexus Design Award 2017. First launched in 2013 to stimulate ideas for a better tomorrow, Lexus is celebrating the fifth year of its international design competition supporting up-and-coming designers and creators worldwide.


Last year, Canadian designer Angelene Laura Fenuta was selected as one of the top four finalists. Her design titled SHAPE SHIFTERS expressed the theme of “Anticipation” by applying modular principles to textiles, allowing the creation of different outfits from a single garment. The making of SHAPE SHIFTERS can be found on YouTube.


The creative theme for the Lexus Design Award 2017 is “Yet”


Applicants are invited to submit innovative designs and original interpretations that demonstrate insight into the essence of the “Yet” theme.


“At Lexus, our Yet philosophy gives us the courage to combine elements that at first seem incompatible – superior ride comfort YET exhilarating driving dynamics – for example. With Yet, we don’t compromise; we harmonize to create synergy that reveals unexpected yet amazing new possibilities. Yet is the catalyst that triggers breakthroughs, the spark that ignites an explosion of creative potential. Yet drives Lexus to explore visionary frontiers of design and technology that will shape tomorrow’s mobility,” said Lexus International Executive Vice-President Yoshihiro Sawa.


Lexus Design Award 2017 will introduce 12 finalists and their works to the design community and beyond in a dedicated Lexus experiential space at Milan Design Week 2017*. Four of these 12 finalists will create prototypes of their designs under the mentorship of globally recognized designers. Each prototype will also be provided a production budget of up to three million JPY (approx. 38,500 CAD). The prototypes of the four finalists will be assessed by a panel of judges for the selection of the Grand Prix winner who may receive an opportunity to develop the prototype into a production model.


Lexus Design Award winners receive the benefit of global exposure and the potential for collaboration projects with the public and private sectors. Lexus is honoured to encourage and highlight emerging creative talent through the international opportunities generated by this competition.


Winners from previous Lexus Design Award competitions have been displaying their talent on the world stage. The 2015 Grand Prix Winner, Emanuela Corti and Ivan Parati’s SENSE WEAR, gained further exposure to design events in Tokyo, Japan and Moscow, Russia. The Grand Prix winner for 2016, design team AMAM’s AGAR PLASTICITY has attracted wide interest and invitations to participate in other international exhibits.


Entries to the Lexus Design Award 2017 competition will be accepted from August 10 through October 16. The 12 finalists will be announced in early 2017.


* The world’s largest design exhibition, also known as Salone Del Mobile, presents events and exhibits by brands and designers in many categories including furniture, fashion and textiles.


Call for Entries to the Lexus Design Award 2017 Competition



Lexus Design Award 2017

Application period

August 10 - October 16, 2016



Judging criteria

  • True to the essence of “YET” with uniqueness in its interpretation
  • Consistent with the ideas of Lexus “DESIGN”


  • Paola Antonelli
  • Aric Chen
  • Toyo Ito
  • Birgit Lohmann
  • Alice Rawsthorn
  • Yoshihiro Sawa (Lexus International)


  • Neri & Hu
  • Max Lamb
  • Elena Manferdini
  • Snarkitecture

Award categories

Lexus Design Award 2017 – 12 finalists

  • One Grand Prix winner (selected from the four prototype winners)
  • Four prototype winners (selected from the 12 finalists)
  • Eight panel finalists


  • 12 finalists will be invited to Milan Design Week 2017*
  • Four winners chosen from the 12 finalists will receive up to three million yen each to cover prototype production costs. The four winners will create prototypes between January and March 2017, through sessions with their assigned mentors.
  • The four prototypes and eight panels will be exhibited at a Lexus exhibition space during Milan Design Week 2017
  • Each of the finalists will be asked to give a presentation at Milan Design Week 2017, after which a single Grand Prix winner will be named from among the four prototypes through final review by the judges.

*Note: Only one person per entry will be invited, regardless of whether the winning works are submitted by an individual or a group


Lexus International

In cooperation with


Application Process

For more information, visit LexusDesignAward.com


Judge and Mentor Profiles




Paola Antonelli / Curator Antonelli joined The Museum of Modern Art in 1994 and is a Senior Curator in the Department of Architecture and Design, as well as MoMA’s Director of Research and Development. She has lectured at TED, the World Economic Forum in Davos, and several other international conferences. Her goal is to insistently promote understanding of design until its positive influence on the world is fully acknowledged and exploited. She is currently working on several shows on contemporary design, and on States of Design, a book about the diversity and variety of design fields that exist today.


Aric Chen / Curator Aric Chen is Lead Curator for Design and Architecture at M+, the new museum for visual culture currently under construction in Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Cultural District. He previously served as Creative Director of Beijing Design Week, leading the successful relaunch of that event in 2011 and 2012. He has curated and organized numerous exhibitions and projects at museums, biennials and other events internationally, and has been a frequent contributor to publications including The New York Times, Monocle, Architectural Record and PIN-UP.


Toyo Ito / Architect Ito graduated from the University of Tokyo, Department of Architecture in 1965. His main works include: Sendai Mediatheque, Tama Art University Library (Hachioji), Taiwan University, College of Social Sciences (Taiwan R.O.C), ‘Minna no Mori’ Gifu Media Cosmos, etc. Projects Under development include: National Taichung Theater (Taiwan R.O.C), New Athletic Field and Sports Park in Aomori (tentative title) and several others. Among his many honors are the Architectural Institute of Japan Prize, Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale, Royal Gold Medal from The Royal Institute of British Architects and the Pritzker Architecture Prize.


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 writes about design in the International New York Times and frieze. Her latest book Hello World: Where Design Meets Life explores design’s impact on our lives: past, present and future. She speaks on design at global events including TED and the World Economic Forum’s annual meetings at 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. She was awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to design and the arts.


Yoshihiro Sawa / Executive Vice 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 Executive Vice President of Lexus International in April 2016.




Neri & Hu / Architects and Interdisciplinary Designers Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu, cofounders of Neri & Hu Design and Research based in Shanghai, have been working on projects around the world which incorporate overlapping design disciplines to create a new paradigm in architecture. In 2014, Wallpaper* announced Neri & Hu as 2014 Designer of The Year. In 2013, they were inducted into the U.S. Interior Design Hall of Fame. Neri & Hu believes strongly that research is a key design tool as each project brings its own unique set of contextual issues. Providing architecture, interior, master planning, graphic and product design services, Neri & Hu recognizes that contemporary problems relating to buildings extend beyond the boundaries of traditional architecture. Rather than starting from a formulaic design, Neri & Hu’s work is anchored in the dynamic interaction of experience, detail, material, form and light.


Max Lamb / Designer Max Lamb’s work plays with the tradition of the working rural landscape — the beach as foundry, the quarry as workshop, felled yew trees of the Chatsworth estate as subject and source material. He is equally fascinated by the city, and his ability to adapt and respond to different environments produces designs that are uniquely of their time and place. Max is not committed to a single material or process, nor is he attracted to design as a means to solve problems. Rather he exploits the qualities inherent in a material to draw out its natural tendencies and beauty. His methods are high- and low-tech, and he is both designer and manufacturer, collaborating with foundries and factories as the scale or complexity of the project necessitates. However, there is continuity in the principles that he applies — honesty to material, a celebration of the process and of human capability, and its limitations.


Elena Manferdini / Designer and Architect Elena Manferdini, founder and owner of Atelier Manferdini, with offices in Venice, California, has completed design, art and architectural projects in the United States, Europe and Asia including the Pavilion of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. Her firm has collaborated with internationally renowned companies such as Swarovski, and Sephora and her work has been featured in journals and publications including Elle, Vogue and the New York Times. Currently Graduate Chair at the Southern California Institute of Architecture she exhibits internationally and lectures widely having spoken at MIT, Princeton, Tsinghua University and Bauhaus. She was recently awarded the 2013 COLA Fellowship to support the production of original artwork. In 2011 she received a prestigious annual grant from United States Artists (USA) and her Blossom design for Alessi received the Good Design Award.


Snarkitecture / Artists and Architects

In 2008 Daniel Arsham and Alex Mustonen founded Snarkitecture, a collaborative and experimental practice operating in territories between art and architecture. Sharing a mutual interest in the intersection of art and architecture since their student days together at Cooper Union in New York, their first commission was for Dior Homme. Deriving its name from Lewis Carroll’s fanciful poem “The Hunting of the Snark”, Snarkitecture designs permanent, architectural scale projects and functional objects with new and imaginative purposes, creating moments of wonder and interaction that allow people to engage directly with the surrounding environment. Transforming the familiar into the extraordinary, Snarkitecture makes architecture perform the unexpected.



About 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 four finalists to work with 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.


About Lexus Canada

Lexus Canada is the exclusive Canadian distributor of Lexus luxury cars and sport utility vehicles through a sales and service network of 38 dealers across Canada. Guests have access to a wide range of luxury and performance vehicles with a total of 12 Lexus nameplates available in Canada, including the largest luxury hybrid lineup of six hybrid models. Inspired by great design and passion for innovation, Lexus is committed to delivering the highest quality products, services and experiences to meet the needs of luxury guests. The Lexus RX 350 and RX 450h are built at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada’s (TMMC) award-winning Cambridge South plant. For more information about Lexus and Lexus products, please visit: www.lexus.ca.



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