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Lexus, Limitless Co-Existence at Milan Design Week

26th April 2018

“Can you imagine a world where individuals understand, care and respect each other without exceptions? We can.”

I must admit, it was quite a treat travelling with the team from Lexus. They had invited me to Milan Design Week to experience their exhibition and to explore the Lexus Design Awards.

Limitless Co-Existence

“Co” was this year’s creative theme and the Lexus installation was titled “Limitless Co-existence.” It was an exploration into their belief that design is a catalyst for change, empowerment and inclusiveness. Quite bold statements and their collaboration with designers brought this theme to life.

Upon entering the space, the fragrance of bergamot surrounded you, it was the moving sound that then drew you out the building and down to the entrance of the exhibition space. Behind a set of black curtains, in a darkened hall, you were led down a passage by light.

Along the way, a showcase of just 1 element of the installation was showcased, the intended purpose was to help us focus on this singular element of light.

An installation of bergamot flavoured lollipops helped to explain what we were about to see. Set in the shape of the words Co and with a single light in the centre of the C and the O, this light reflected onto each and every lollipop. Set out so carefully that none of the lollipops would be in the shadow of another. Quite an accomplishment. This simple display helped us to understand what we would be seeing next.

In the following room was the masterpiece installation by designer Sota Ichikawa. 12,000 strings precisely positioned to catch the light from 1 central laser light source that illuminated the strings so that they CO-exist in the light yet cast no shadows.

I have to admit, it took me a while to understand this concept and exactly how it was achieved. But watching the light move, while illuminating 12,000 strings and knowing that no shadows were being cast onto another string was quite incredible. The premise behind this being that we view the world as solitary beings and feel like the centre of our worlds, but actually, we are just 1 of these strings and together are part of a magnificent display. Isn’t that just the perfect definition of Co?

Lexus Design Awards

The Lexus Design Awards is an annual event that was first launched in 2013 and gives up and coming creators from around the globe an opportunity to showcase and be recognised for their ideas. I really focused on the 4 finalists and their prototypes.

Testing Hypotheticals, a collaboratively imagined test site that explores speculative relationships between society, technology and the environment.

I predicted that this team would win (and they did), I loved the way in which they were reaching out to ordinary people around the world to understand what and how they thought about the future. Creating interesting products and concepts to help develop our future.

CO-RKs, a generative system connecting cork thread, a sustainable material and computational process that generate design products.

This was a really good idea too, taking a material that’s sustainable and creating fabric and other products is a good idea, and this team were doing it really well.

Honest Egg, connecting technology and new design interface to show egg’s edibility.

I love the use of tech in the home and making everyday products more intelligent through tech is really the next wave that we’re already seeing.

Recycled Fiber Planter, co-fusion textile and green design to repurpose used clothes.

Again, another really intelligent way of using up waste textiles.

Overall, I really enjoyed speaking to the designers of these prototypes, their insight and thought processes and ambition were truly inspiring. Well done to all of these designers and congratulations to the team from Testing Hypotheticals for winning the Lexus Design Award 2018.

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