Clean water wins at Lexus Global Design 2020

The improvements showcased at the annual occasion (digital, by necessity) comprised all the pieces from ‘living walls’ to good stitching machines

“The human race evolves by identifying problems and overcoming them.” Simon Humphries’ assertion could sound like a truism, nevertheless it carries weight in immediately’s instances. As the Head of Toyota, and a mentor of the annual Lexus Global Design — which fosters revolutionary concepts from up-and-coming skills throughout an eclectic vary of disciplines, together with trend, expertise and engineering — he has seen his justifiable share of concepts that may assist form a greater future.

Simon Humphries, Head of Toyota and Lexus Global Design

“The pandemic will stimulate a new take on many issues that we have taken for granted. Maybe we have to create a new way to experience touch between people?” he posits.

While the two,042 submissions (from 79 nations) for the design awards’ eighth version had been conceived pre Covid-19, most of them “seem relevant here and now”. The integration of recent materials expertise into design, similar to a modular carbon sequestering air filtration system that’s assembled from 3D printed biopolymer scales, is without doubt one of the most spectacular attributes this 12 months. “The observation of the natural world, and utilising those properties to create simple, ingenious ideas [a portable body cleaner with a unique surface similar to a cat’s tongue] also impressed me,” he says.

Is AI the reply?

  • Humphries believes there can be a doubling of entrants for subsequent 12 months’s awards (entries for 2021 are open now). And AI might characteristic prominently. “Much of product design today is static throughout its lifecycle. The car you buy will be exactly the same when you sell it in five year’s time. But the influence of AI will fundamentally change this equation. The product will ‘grow’ with the user, and change and improve as it moves through its product lifecycle,” he says, including that many merchandise that up until now have been “fundamentally isolated, will need to be designed as part of an optimised system. The connectivity and synergy between them will form a new user experience tailored to the expectations of that person”.

Going ahead, Humphries feels the “influence of creativity will not only be limited to product design. The creativity to produce new medicines, find different ways to work and travel, to make new ways for people to communicate and feel secure will all be affected by the pandemic”.

With the winner introduced a few weeks in the past (the digital choice was at the top of August), we glance at the initiatives that stood out among the many six finalists:

BellTower’s sustainable clean water resource centre

BellTower’s sustainable clear water useful resource centre

BellTower, Open Source Communities (Kenya)

Community-owned clean water assortment and storage units

The winners of Lexus Global Design’s Grand Prix prize deal with one of many greatest challenges present in creating nations: that of contaminated water. Long treks to gather water, endless queues in entrance of unreliable faucets, pricey choices for clear water (the bubble tops we rely on) are acquainted to us in India. But immediately, entry to wash water means extra than simply lowering waterborne sicknesses. It additionally permits individuals in Kenya and elsewhere to scrub their fingers successfully and cut back the unfold of Covid-19. “During the pandemic, we can empower 2.5 million slum residents in Nairobi and 39 million Kenyans without piped water,” says designer John Brian Kamau. The prototype not solely encompasses a nuanced method to rainwater gathering, decontamination, storage, and dissemination — the ‘build and operate solution’ can be shared as open supply — but additionally expands the definition of design by addressing techniques of finance for group initiatives.

Other noteworthy entrants:

Designer Aqsa Ajmal with Pursewit

Designer Aqsa Ajmal with Pursewit  

Aqsa Ajmal, Pursewit (Pakistan)

Accessible stitching machine for the visually-impaired

When a good friend obtained right into a devastating accident and misplaced her sight, the commercial design graduate witnessed her battle first hand. “After a while, everything around her seemed normal except for her; she constantly struggled. It become difficult to take advantage of opportunities,” she remembers. Ajmal’s response was to create a problem-solving product that would supply employment alternatives for these with related afflictions. “Pursewit, with increased reliance upon touch and other senses to make its use more intuitive, provides an easier way to incorporate sewing skills into income generation,” she says, hoping will probably be a stepping stone for additional authorities motion to enhance the lives of these with disabilities. “Following sufficient user-testing, we will move towards production. We have identified multiple manufacturing companies within the industrial city of Sialkot.”

Yaokun Wu with FlashPak

Yaokun Wu with FlashPak

Yaokun Wu, FlashPak (China/USA)

Smart survival equipment that helps in flash floods

Wu grew up in a flood-affected space in China and, over the previous 30 years, noticed “the number of people affected by floods grow due to accelerating sea level rising and global warming”. His answer is easy but efficient — a life jacket that’s simply accessible in high-risk areas. “It would be installed on lamp posts. Using the innate buoyancy of life vests, [these will] rise with the water level and remain accessible at any point during a flood,” he says. Wu was impressed by the outdated Chinese custom of yaozhou (calabash boat) the place individuals tied calabashes round their waist to cross rivers. “The idea is to take something from nature and use it as a tool. It’s just three actions: garb, carry, float.” Next 12 months, he can be exhibiting it at the Milan Design Week.

Paul and Garrett Sutherlin Santo designing a living wall

Paul and Garrett Sutherlin Santo designing a residing wall

Garrett Sutherlin Santo, Biocraft (USA)

Carbon sequestering air filtration system assembled from 3D printed biopolymer scales

“Biocraft is a collection of natural materials that attempts to transform everyday objects into active ones that interact with our environment and us,” says Santo. Simply put, it combines plant-based polymers with digital expertise (3D printing) to create a brand new materials — that’s compostable and customisable — to filter carbon dioxide and different dangerous greenhouse gases from the air. “We looked to our own home for inspiration, seeking a way to convert unused space for the purposes of cleaning our air. We realised that not only could wall or ceiling space be clad in carbon sequestering material, but objects and furniture as well,” he says. The problem was to additionally make it aesthetically pleasing, which they did by utilising a variety of patterns, textures and pure pigments. Aimed primarily at designers, it hopes to increase the choices they’ve to incorporate “natural and healthful new materials, and encourage experimentation”.

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