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Lexus announces finalists for 2016 design award for young creatives

Dezeen promotion: a clock that uses UV-responsive liquid to tell the time, eco-friendly packaging made from algae, and modular clothing are among the prototype designs shortlisted for this year’s Lexus Design Award.

Eight panel finalists have been announced for the Lexus Design Award 2016, and a further four have been selected to create prototypes of their designs to present at Milan design week in April.

Organised by Japanese car brand Lexus International, the annual award aims to support young designers from around the world.

More than 1,230 entries were received for this year’s award, from 73 different countries.

The winners were selected by a judging panel including Japanese architect Toyo Ito, New York’s Museum of Modern Art senior curator Paola Antonelli, Hong Kong’s M+ museum curator Aric Chen, design critic Alice Rawsthorn, Designboom chief editor Birgit Lohmann, and Tokuo Fukuichi, president of Lexus International.

The four finalists selected to develop their prototypes will now be paired with high-profile mentors from the industry.

Agar Plasticity by AMAM
AGAR PLASTICITY by AMAM is a proposal for exploring the potential of an organic material sourced from marine algae to replace plastic in packaging

Japanese designers Akira Muraoka, Noriaki Maetani and Kosuke Araki, who work together under the name AMAM, will explore their idea for using agar – a gelatinous material sourced from marine algae – to create environmentally friendly packaging.

They will be paired with UK designer Max Lamb, who is known for his experimental approach to materials. “For me smart ideas are more important than smart technology,” said Lamb.

Canadian-Italian designer Angelene Laura Fenuta will be paired with Italian-American designer and architect Elena Manferdini to develop Shape Shifters, an idea for a modular garment that can be used to create multiple outfits (main image).

Lexus Design Award 2016 Dada by Myungsik Jang
DADA by Myungsik Jang is a prototype for a child’s toy that can be assembled using pegs and bands

Myungsik Jang from Korea will work on his concept for DADA, a block toy for children that uses pegs, holes and bands to create a huge variety of assembly options. He will be mentored by Chinese design duo Neri&Hu.

“We’re looking for the idea to grow and enhance,” said Rossana Hu, “to take a good idea further to become a better idea. We’re looking for what it can be next.”

Lexus Design Award 2016 Trace by Studio Ayaskan
TRACE by STUDIO AYASKAN proposes embedding a wall clock with uv-responsive pigment that changes colour as time passes

STUDIO AYASKAN, which consists of Turkish designers Begum Ayaskan and Bike Ayaskan, will focus on realising its idea for a clock that uses UV rays to tell the time.

Called TRACE, the wall clock will use a light-responsive liquid that discolours to create a visual effect as time passes. The duo will be paired with Daniel Arsham and Alex Mustonen of US firm Snarkitecture, which has attracted international attention for its combination of experimental art and architecture.

An overall Grand Prix winner will be selected from these four, and will be announced on 11 April at an award ceremony in Milan.

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