Air Cleaning, Well Being & Cat-like Licking Honored by Lexus

Lexus announced the six finalists for the 2020 LEXUS DESIGN AWARD, who will receive mentorship from renowned design leaders and funding of up to 3,000,000 yen (over $25,000 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.


  • 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 United Kingdom)
    A breathing felt cloud which interacts with people and space to enhance well-being.
  • Flash Pak, by Yaokun Wu (China / Based in 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.

According to technologist and LEXUS DESIGN AWARD 2020 judge John Maeda, “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. But working with jurors like Jeanne Gang and Paola Antonelli made the task easy given their broad range of knowledge about transformative design projects. I offered my technology and business perspective to question both engineering and financial viability. 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.”

In January the six finalists traveled to New York City for a life-changing workshop experience, engaging in a dialogue with four acclaimed mentors: Joe Doucet, Bethan Gray, Philippe Malouin and Shohei Shigematsu, each offering their own distinctive wisdom and expertise. The workshop had taken place at INTERSECT BY LEXUS-NYC, the brand’s unique lifestyle space.

This workshop kicks off an ongoing interaction between finalists and mentors leading up to the judging session in Italy, during Milan Design Week*. In the context of this major event on the global design calendar, finalists will present their completed prototypes to the world and one will be selected by the esteemed judging panel of Paola Antonelli, Jeanne Gang, John Maeda, and Simon Humphries during the competition’s Grand Prix event.