Lexus Design Award India 2023 to probe what's NEXT in design thinking

With STIR as a curatorial partner, Lexus India announces the sixth edition of Lexus Design Award India 2023, to identify and award the best industrial design by Indian designers.

by Jincy IypePublished on : Aug 24, 2022

With almost two years defined by quarantines, lockdowns, physical distancing and social and individual upheaval, the methods and routes we choose to engage with, to connect the world, are informing upcoming product and industrial designs, that warrant a closer look. The objects we use need to adapt to our changing needs and evolving lifestyles, where they question redundant user experience, serve a major shift in material usage, and keep redefining, what it means to be truly, functionally, sustainable. 

The sixth edition of the Lexus Design Award India (LDAI) 2023 announced its objective of identifying, critiquing, celebrating and empowering the best of industrial design by Indian designers, institutions, design consultancy firms, and in-house design teams of companies, to showcase innovative projects that inspire and exhibit fortitude.

The sixth edition of the LDAI will identify and celebrate the best of industrial design by Indian designers across established and conceptual categories | Lexus Design Award India 2023 | STIRworld
The sixth edition of the LDAI will identify and celebrate the best of industrial design by Indian designers across established and conceptual categories Image: Courtesy of LDAI
The conceptual category will invite entries from students as well | Lexus Design Award India 2023 | STIRworld
The conceptual category will invite entries from students as well Image: Courtesy of LDAI

The design awards will put the spotlight on rewarding Indian designs that anticipate future challenges in society, assisted by the latest technologies. To be conceived as An Ode to Crafting a Better Tomorrow, these solution-oriented, socially conscious designs will carry at their core, productive and imaginative ways of contributing to a future of sustainability, in tandem with enhancing the quality of our lives.

Lexus Design Award India 2022 – post event video Video: Courtesy of LDAI

With STIR as the Curatorial Partner, and the Association of Designers of India (ADI) as the Knowledge Partner, LDAI 2023 will also showcase to the international design community, how India is committed to empowering the next generation of talented creators, acknowledging the compelling pairing of design and technology, and its irrefutable power in the modern world. Planned coverage of the design event and the Lexus Design Award 2023 will delve into the designers' state of mind, young, old, established or otherwise, to unearth their creative thought processes through interviews, across a variety of formats. STIR's curatorial angle for the awards will discuss and explore how these objects of design dedicated to egalitarian thought can steer the way for democratic design in the country. These will also look at unearthing the NEXT in design thinking, what drives their methods of creating, what informs their experiences and objects, and what their designed vision for India’s tomorrow looks like. 

First category of Established Work (Product Design) | Lexus Design Award India 2023 | STIRworld
First category of Established Work (Product Design) Image: Courtesy of LDAI
First category of Established Work (Textile Design) | Lexus Design Award India 2023 | STIRworld
First category of Established Work (Textile Design) Image: Courtesy of LDAI

Since its first edition in 2018, Lexus Design Award India has witnessed over 3,000 creative entries, real and conceptual, from designers across the country, dedicated to bettering futures, and drawing on the potential of innovative design thinking.

Good design is defined by LDAI as the synthesis of ergonomic, aesthetic, commercial, industrial, and scientific disciplines to create products that simplify, enrich and better human existence. Lexus, as a brand, has always stood for excellence in design, ergonomics, sustainability, technological superiority, and responsible consumption; and the LDAI will mirror these brand values. – Lexus India

The curated designs showcase calibre and inventiveness across a wide range of areas such as healthcare, energy conservation, sustainable goods, and waste management, among others. Some notable ones from LDAI 2022 include Life Box (Open Category Winner), a preservation box for human hearts to allow for increased travel time and distances, Ice Heal, to treat sports injuries quickly and Samarth, a modular air purification system.

First category of Established Work (Lifestyle Accessory Design) | Lexus Design Award India 2023 | STIRworld
First category of Established Work (Lifestyle Accessory Design) Image: Courtesy of LDAI
First category of Established Work (Furniture Design) | Lexus Design Award India 2023 | STIRworld
First category of Established Work (Furniture Design) Image: Courtesy of LDAI

Anticipate. Innovate. Captivate.

Aspirants will be asked to anchor their creativity and resultant designs on these principles, under a tenet of “Design for a Better Tomorrow”, to help them in expressing originality, innovation, and elucidated works.

Anticipate - How do the concept and design anticipate global challenges facing future society? Innovate - How does the design demonstrate new thinking and originality both in the proposal and in the execution? Captivate - How does the design intrigue and compel when realised in concept and execution? Enhance Happiness - How does your design bring happiness to people around the world?

First category of Established Work (Craft Design) | Lexus Design Award India 2023 | STIRworld
First category of Established Work (Craft Design) Image: Courtesy of LDAI
First category of Established Work (Eco-Innovation) | Lexus Design Award India 2023 | STIRworld
First category of Established Work (Eco-Innovation) Image: Courtesy of LDAI

Lexus Design Award India 2023 will invite entries (sans application fee) in two main categories – Established Work (client and self-commissioned), which are further broken down into seven sub-categories – product design, furniture design, textile design, craft work, eco-innovation, lifestyle accessory design and design for social impact. Conceptual Work, the second type, will consist of two sub-classifications for entries, the open and student category. 

First category of Established Work (Design for Social Impact) | Lexus Design Award India 2023 | STIRworld
First category of Established Work (Design for Social Impact) Image: Courtesy of LDAI

"Lexus Design Award India is a great platform for design talents around the country, to showcase their originality while implementing solutions for a better tomorrow. We are elated to announce the Call for Entries for the sixth edition of the Lexus Design Award India and believe that this edition too will truly be remarkable with pioneering ideas that will contribute to our thriving society. We are eagerly looking forward to seeing what our participants have in store for us this year,” said Naveen Soni, President of Lexus India, at the commencement of LDAI 2023.

Meet the LDAI 2023 Jury and Finalists

The finalists for the Lexus Design Award India (LDAI) 2023 have been revealed, furthering the decorated program of its 6th edition with aplomb. With more than 1,000 entries coming in, the underscoring belief of every design being designed to matter was made apparent. The finalists were selected for their original, innovative, and thought-provoking solutions that highlight the purpose of “designing for a better tomorrow,” in tandem with articulating the brand’s core principles-Anticipate, Innovate, and Captivate.

A glimpse of the Lexus Design Awards India 2023 Jury Meet held at STIR Gallery in New Delhi, India Video: Courtesy of STIR

Out of the entries, the eminent jury panel including design experts from India shortlisted 41 finalists from across all categories. Gearing toward the final Lexus Design Awards ceremony, STIR in partnership with Lexus curated a Jury Meet from October 16 to October 17, 2022 at STIR Gallery in New Delhi, India. Pradip Krishnan, David Abraham, Shrikant Nivasarkar, Sundar S, Rashmi Ranade, Giri Venkatesh, and Balkrishna Mahajan along with the Lexus India team, STIR team, and Amit Gupta, founder and editor-in-chief of STIR, participated in categoric group discussions and insightful debates, with a keen eye and purpose to establish the finalists. The congregation was also graced with the presence of Naveen Soni, President of Lexus India, who reflected on the substantial influence that events such as LDAI have had on the Indian design circuit over the years, of bearing the responsibility to hone young talent in the country.

The discourses and design entries presented intriguing, experimental concepts, unique design strategies, and various social issues that were addressed through design, as an explorative dialect of change.

  • The Jury (L-R): Sundar S, Pradip Krishnan, David Abraham, Shrikant Nivasarkar, Amit Gupta (Editor-in-Chief, STIR), Rashmi Ranade, Balkrishna Mahajan and Giri Venkatesh.  | Lexus Design Award India 2023 | STIRworld
    The Jury (L-R): Sundar S, Pradip Krishnan, David Abraham, Shrikant Nivasarkar, Amit Gupta (Editor-in-Chief, STIR), Rashmi Ranade, Balkrishna Mahajan and Giri Venkatesh. Image: Courtesy of STIR
  • Longlisted entries displayed at the STIR Gallery for the jurors to choose the finalists for LDAI 2023 | Lexus Design Award India 2023 | STIRworld
    The longlisted entries displayed at the STIR Gallery for the jurors to choose the finalists for LDAI 2023Image: Courtesy of STIR

“Now in its sixth edition, LDAI continues to evolve with the mission of supporting and nurturing designers and creators from across the country. The program identifies promising talent and gives them a platform to showcase their creativity,” LDAI shares.

Sharing his thoughts on the partnership and hosting the Jury Meet at STIR, Amit Gupta says, "Awards of such nature represent and leverage the radical creativity and diversity of Indian industrial design sensibilities, by presenting an accessible platform for young designers to—explore, ideate, and innovate. As curatorial partners, we at STIR have always strived to endorse lateral thinking across all our initiatives, providing a stage for the creative community at large, to dream big and Think NEXT."

Finalists of the Conceptual category also received one-on-one mentorship from a panel of renowned Indian designers, with whom they interacted to fine-tune their works and eventually compete in the finals. The winners will be announced at the Awards Ceremony scheduled to take place on December 8, 2022 at the STIR Gallery, under the exciting theme of 'Electrified Future,' ideated and organised by STIR. Here is a look at the finalists and their creative entries:

1. Drishyam

'Drishyam' is an effort towards an inclusive community, in a world replete with board games catering to the able-bodied. This game world is adapted for visually impaired people, who are often mercilessly alienated from the rest of society. Board games, in general, are loved by all and are proven instruments aiding learning and socialising, as well as an activity for entertainment. 'Drishyam' is a version of Braille Scrabble and comprises chips with braille alphabets alongside the normal alphabet, making it possible for a blind person to play.

  • First category of Established Work (Design for Social Impact) | Lexus Design Award India 2023 | STIRworld
    Drishyam is a board game designed as an effort towards an inclusive world Image: Courtesy of LDAI
  • Drishyam is a version of Braille Scrabble | Lexus Design Award India 2023 | STIRworld
    Drishyam is a version of Braille Scrabble Image: Courtesy of LDAI

2. Paper Mache

This sustainable design intervention focuses on giving second life to paper waste gathered from offices, schools, shredding machines, and printing shops to create sturdy material as an alternative to MDF, or plastic storage units. Properties of paper were studied, and of those, these features were considered important for this project—usage of armatures, areas with the least moisture content, and the indoors. An armature with a wire mesh was made, before attaching it to a laser-cut, reusable MDF mould. A wall of waste newspaper rolls was constructed all around the cavity, for the application of pulp which is made from wastepaper, and then left to dry for almost a week. The structure was then turned upside down, and the newspaper rolls were removed. After drying, two to three coatings of fuller’s earth were applied on top to enhance the texture of the paper mache, giving it a rustic look.

  • Paper Mache is a sustainable design intervention that gives a second life to paper waste | Lexus Design Award India 2023 | STIRworld
    Paper Mache is a sustainable design intervention that gives a second life to paper waste Image: Courtesy of LDAI
  • Creative process of the Paper Mache storage units | Lexus Design Award India 2023 | STIRworld
    Creative process of the Paper Mache storage units Image: Courtesy of LDAI

3. Inclusive Communication Mediums for Deafblind Persons

This product is for those with multiple sensory impairments (MSI), who are massively under-represented in mainstream society. People with this disability require specialised physical assistance and tactile interaction for communication and accessing information, and learning through Braille is one of the most crucial aspects of their educational curriculums. This project, focuses on making information available to them and achieve a stable lifestyle. Figuring out a successful braille input and output mechanism, along with smooth interaction via pressing a button to receive tactile braille, was the primary attempt of the prototype. The mechanism developed consists of specially manufactured springs, a tension spring, and a rope wire, with customised buttons and braille outputs. The prototype is ergonomically designed for two-way communication between a person with deafblindness as well as visual impairment.

  • Creative process of the Paper Mache storage units | Lexus Design Award India 2023 | STIRworld
    Prototype of the Inclusive Communication Mediums for Deafblind Persons Image: Courtesy of LDAI
  • The product is designed for those with multiple sensory impairments | Lexus Design Award India 2023 | STIRworld
    The product is designed for those with multiple sensory impairments Image: Courtesy of LDAI

4. Chi

Chi in Chinese means ‘life force,’ and is conceived as an assistive aid designed along with stroke experts focusing on Hemiplegic stroke patients. Designed for patients as well as doctors, to help the survivors rehabilitate, it allows them to walk on their own, stand from a sitting position with reduced risk of falling, a common cause of injury leading to further complications. Backed by four months of research, 'Chi' is imagined as an affordable product, that also relieves caregivers from an overload of work, along with motivating the patient by making them self-reliant. Due to its stable form, the product design does not topple while walking and provides utmost balance when weight is put on it.

  • Chi is designed as an affordable assistive aid for stroke victims | Lexus Design Award India 2023 | STIRworld
    Chi is designed as an affordable assistive aid for stroke victims Image: Courtesy of LDAI
  • Chi - details | Lexus Design Award India 2023 | STIRworld
    Chi - details Image: Courtesy of LDAI

5. Thematlab

Visualised for craftsmen, artisans, and designers 'Thematlab' attracts users through a local craft directory, material and makers inventory, periodic exhibitions and events, and more. It enables problem-solving and prototyping, design building and fabrication, research and development, networking and knowledge sharing, along with varied discussions and conversations. Resources are scavenged from the local region and an inventory of material samples and a material bank are set up, making it available to everyone, everywhere. The generation cycle of 'Thematlab' will also be more aware of a product’s lifecycle, depending on the designers' needs and source material, leading to a refined and easier prototype development.

  • Prototype of Thematlab, imagined for craftsmen, artisans and designers
    Prototype of Thematlab, imagined for craftsmen, artisans and designers | Lexus Design Award India 2023 | STIRworld Image: Courtesy of LDAI
  • Thematlab attracts users through the Local Craft Directory, material and makers inventory, periodic exhibitions and events, and more | Lexus Design Award India 2023 | STIRworld
    Thematlab attracts users through the Local Craft Directory, material and makers inventory, periodic exhibitions and events, and more Image: Courtesy of LDAI

6. Cookmate

The product aims to offer a flexible way of cooking with minimal reliance on space. Utensils such as a frying pan, saucepan, and ladle can be stacked as one, along with the heating induction element which makes it versatile for cooking in compact spaces. Through research, it was possible to design a product that could toast bread, cook dosa, gravies and rice, all in a single product. 'Cookmate' also covers the food, functioning as a lid.

  • Cookmate aims to offer a flexible way of cooking, with minimal reliance on space| Lexus Design Award India 2023 | STIRworld
    Cookmate aims to offer a flexible way of cooking, with minimal reliance on spaceImage: Courtesy of LDAI
  • In Cookmate, several utensils can be stacked together for use| Lexus Design Award India 2023 | STIRworld
    In Cookmate, several utensils can be stacked together for useImage: Courtesy of LDAI

Voting for the ‘People’s Choice Award’ is now open, inviting all to be a part of the jury and vote for their favourite entry through a secure online portal.

“We are happy to see such a large number of entries come in, year after year, and this year being the highest ever, which just proves the amount of talent we have in the country. With Lexus Design Award India, we want to give these talented designers, innovators, and creators a stage where their creativity and originality can be seen and appreciated. That said, we look forward to meeting and awarding all the deserving winners at the final event,” says Soni.

Watch this space for more.
For details on the entry application for LDAI 2023, visit
here.

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