Since 2013, the Lexus Design Award has honored critical thinking by challenging emerging creatives to solve problems through design. This year’s theme is “CO-” from the Latin prefix meaning togetherness or harmony. Harnessing the concept of limitless co-existence, in which no one is left out, thousands of entrants designed within four categories: technology, product, fashion and environment.
On display during Milan Design Week (17-22 April), the work of 12 finalists—drawn from a whopping 1319 entries—is being exhibited inside the stunning Sota Ichikawa-designed Lexus experiential space. From those 12, four were previously selected to advance further and partnered with mentors. This enabled these four projects to enter prototyping stage. From these, one 2018 Grand Prix winner was selected by an acclaimed cast of judges—David Adjaye, Shigeru Ban Architect, Paola Antonelli, Birgit Lohmann, Alice Rawsthorn and Yoshihiro Sawa. They had the difficult job of narrowing down one project from so many that all carried the intent to make the world a better place.
Announced last night, “Testing Hypotheticals” by Extrapolation Factory (Christopher Woebken and Elliott P Montgomery) took top honors. With this project, Woebken and Montgomery propose a meticulously designed “Futures Workshop” in which both community work and living spaces are imagined, brainstormed and then tested by locals themselves. It aims to address physical buildings and structures, social issues, and more—anything that affects those living in the community. Essentially, the studio works with people in a neighborhood to identify important issues they face. Once they’ve selected aspects that are paramount, together explore the ways in which they can be changed or enhanced—all within these real-life testing site.
Extrapolation Factory’s mentors, Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin of Studio Formafantasma, encouraged them to explain their project through a documentary film. It explores how these workshops and real-life laboratories will trial new features that truly benefit citizens—wherein humans, technology and the environment all exist in harmony.
Images courtesy of Lexus