Designs for Better Future

By Weronika Kusmider

What makes our world a better place?
The more we learn about how to take care of Mother Earth, the more we realise that we have to work with her to nurture for a better world. Technology, nature and knowledge are what most often brings a change and chance to grow. These factors also bring a high number of inventions that are rooted in the idea of where man and nature come together to move things forward.
In Designs for Better Future, we will look at the Lexus Design Award and how young and innovative designers teach us how to nurture ourselves and our planet.

Since the first humans inhabited Earth, they used what the planet gave them, its natural bounty. The man discovered fire, tools and how to better aids their lives while living hand in hand with Mother Nature. Forward several thousand years and now man understands we cannot just relentlessly take from our natural world. We need to support and savour it to nurture it and keep it going.

In many ways, this awareness of the fact that we need to take care of our planet allows us to create great designs, that are all about creativity and after all the ability to solve problems in a new way.

Lexus, founded in 1989, is a luxury car company focused on creating inspiring designs and relentless innovation that turns anything that they do into passionate, moving experiences. They strive to empower people’s lives, help to preserve the environment.

Their Design Award is an international design competition that is focused on designing products that aim to benefit societies and the planet while demonstrating innovation with fresh and imaginative solutions.

Let’s look at this years’ finalists and how they combined nature with science to nurture either the Planet or its inhabitants.

CY-BO by Kenji Abe from Japan.

CY-BO is a new form of cytologically inspired packaging material. This material can transform into various shapes by combining the pieces together. It is infinitely reusable and rearrangeable and can be converted into all manner of products for different applications depending on the ideas of the user.

CY-BO – a sustainable, reusable packaging material, by Kenji Abe

Heartfelt by Gayle Lee & Jessica Vea from New Zealand/Tonga.

During this pandemic, some of us might have felt more lonely than ever. Heartfelt aims to explore what ‘being present’ might look like during these strange time. It additionally seeks to assist with anxiety and emotional stresses of being alone through simple long-distance devices. “Small device, big heart.”

Heartfelt – a device that delivers virtual hugs, by Gayle Lee and Jessica Vea

InTempo by Alina Holovatiuk from Ukraine.

InTempo are mitts, software and phone cases made to help people that face emotional stress. They are specifically made to help people with sociophobia, but they are not limited to that. How do they work? These designs use the innovative combination of rhythmic therapy, visual and tactile sensations to make people feel calmer and at peace in public spaces.

InTempo – uses rhythm and music to distract from stressful situations, by Alina Holovatiuk

KnitX by Irmandy Wicaksono from Indonesia.

KnitX is a set of functional textiles computationally integrated with digital knitting. This might sound a little complicated, but it is not. They are made by the use of active and electronic fibres. This enables garment and interior fabrics to dynamically respond to our movements and sunlight which results in them changing their appearance and providing thermoregulation.

KnitX – digital 3D knitting of functional, electronic textiles, by Irmandy Wicaksono

Solar Desalination Skylight by Henry Glogau from New Zealand.

The Solar Desalination Skylight emits a natural diffused light, produces drinking water, and utilizes leftover salt brine for energy creation. This holistic design uses the same pattern that the Earth does. Through evaporation, condensation and precipitation, it creates usable power and drinkable water that nurtures us, while not harming our planet.

Structure to support Solar Desalination Skylight, by Henry Glogau

Terracotta Valley Wind by Intsui Design from China.

Terracotta is one of the oldest material. In Italian, it means ‘baked earth’. This material is an inexpensive and accessible clay material. Most of us know terracotta as a sculpture material, but it can be used as a building material. Terracotta Valley Wind is a cooling system that can be used in subway stations to can cool them during summer. How? This system utilizes and maximizes the value of the unused wind resource made by the trains, to cool down the subway stations while not using any additional energy.

Terracotta Valley Wind – a terracotta evaporative cooling system for subway stations, by Intsui Design

This competition has provided the chance of a lifetime for up-and-coming designers to win the prestigious award for innovative design excellence.

Additionally, Lexus incorporates nature and their Japanese heritage and culture in their actions. This spring in Japan, many of Lexus’ employers are enjoying the tradition of hanami (flower viewing). Cherry blossom is not just a sign of spring, it is a sign of renewal and regeneration of the Planet Earth.

Now that the lockdown is starting to ease all around the world, it might be a great opportunity to drive out to the country side to see and enjoy the cherry blossom in all its glory. Lexus has created a list of six places all around the United Kingdom where you could see the magic of cherry blossom. Click here to find out more.

Lexus LC Coupe, from Gran Turismo Sport

Lexus is ensuring that the part of their DNA that is focused on taking care of the planet and nurturing it, with help of young, innovative designers are shown in everything that they do. This allows us to see that we can still be creative and help Mother Earth live longer.

To find out more about the Lexus Design Awards 2021, press here.

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