Function: Celebrating design

By Jo Phillips

Great designs are not just about looking good; they’re also about functioning well. Every kettle, lamp, cup, etc, in our homes has been designed and therefore design is something that we engage with on a daily basis.

Lexus, the high-end car company, who believe that design is a fundamental part of the Lexus brand, created the Lexus Design award. The competition was first launched in 2013 as an international platform to support upcoming designers and creatives. This year’s theme was based on the concept of ‘yet’, fusing together incompatible elements that harmonise to create the unexpected.

Four out of the twelve finalists will get the chance to build prototypes of their designs, which will be featured as part of the Lexus exhibition at this year’s Milan design week. There will also be presentation boards introducing the other eight’s finalist’s designs. The winners will be announced during Milan design week, which runs from the 4th until the 9th of April. The judges will assess the prototypes by the four panellists and announce this year’s winner thus concluding the competition. Here are the 12 finalist’s designs:

PIXEL by Japan’s, Hiroto Yoshizoe is a structure that allows you to experience the existence of both light and shadow.


Player’s Pflute by, Jia Wu, is a vegetable yet a musical instrument that provides a fun learning experience.


Buoyant Measuring Spoon for the Blind, by Eunjin Park, is a measuring spoon with unseen yet visualised tactile gradations for the blind.


The Landscape of Paper, by Kuniko Maeda, is a disposable yet up-cycled material using traditional and modern technology.


Mass Production to Unique Items, by Takehanake-Bungorogama, are mass-produced yet one-of-a-kind ceramics, created using a portable kiln.


Paper Kettle, by Ryo Katayama, is a combustible yet fire-resistant paper kettle.


Platanaceae, by Paula Cermeño, is a banana leaf bandage that outperform synthetic types. Yet, at the same time, they are biodegradable and soothing.


POD, by MODlab, is a temporary shelter for displaced populations, homeless yet home.


Retrospection Project/Timetune Radio, by Takuro Sanda, is a hi-tech yet retro radio that tunes in programmes from past and present.


Traffic Light System, by Evgeny Arinin, is a simple yet sophisticated traffic light.


Structural Color-Static Yet Changing, by Jessica Fügler is a static yet changeable structure dependent on one’s viewpoint.


Having nothing and yet possessing everything by, Ahran Won, is a capsule for mobile living – having nothing yet everything.

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