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Lexus Design Awards: Local AUT Competition Winners Announced

The winners of the localised Lexus Design Award have been announced, giving Auckland University of Technology (AUT) Faculty of Design and Creative Technologies students the chance to showcase their creativity, innovation and design skills on an international stage.

Zane Kelbrick, the student behind the Building Materials Collective (BMC), took away the top spot in the localised competition, with his concept focused on the reintegration of second-hand building materials into digital design practices.

The Building Materials Collective (BMC) is a project centred around designing an efficient and inexpensive process to give wasted building materials a second life. The concept enables design and construction businesses to plan, assess and develop for the incorporation of second-hand materials into future developments, reducing overall waste.

Andrew Davis, General Manager of Marketing for Lexus New Zealand, says that Lexus believes design has the power to change the world and wants to inspire creators to produce ideas that can improve people’s lives.

“We partnered with AUT to support emerging designers in New Zealand because they are an incredibly innovative university, with many of their alumni going on to great things including our ambassador Simon James from Resident.”

“The judges of the localised competition were incredibly impressed by the level of talent, skill and practical application this year’s student entries showed. The events of this year alone have created a number of unprecedented challenges for us all to tackle – challenges that will only be increasing in complexity as the years go on,” says Mr Davis.

“It is fantastic to see the next generation proposing imaginative solutions that anticipate the needs of people and society – something that seems more relevant than ever this year.”

“We are excited to see where all the participating students take their careers - from the calibre of work, I would say many of them have bright futures ahead of them.”

Taking away second place was the team behind the Infant Vital Suit (IVS) – a baby suit that monitors children’s vital signs, tracking the temperature, heart rate, blood pressure and breathing rate of the child through calibrated e-textile technology. Third place went to a concept called Heartfelt, a product designed to strengthen relational bonds and decrease feelings of loneliness in Covid-19 times, mainly amongst people in self-isolation.

Lexus New Zealand provided cash prizes to the first, second and third place winners, and have assisted all the AUT students, that chose to participate in the Lexus Design Award competition, in submitting their entry into the international competition.

Lexus New Zealand has also endorsed the AUT entries into the international Lexus Design Award competition and if chosen, the concept’s creator will participate virtually in a workshop with one-on-one mentoring from world class design professionals and receive $25,000 USD to complete their prototypes.

In a move to showcase New Zealand’s innovative design talent on the world stage, Lexus New Zealand teamed up with the Auckland University of Technology (AUT) Faculty of Design and Creative Technologies to encourage local entries into the International Lexus Design Award.

AUT Director of External Engagement, Dr Yvonne Chan, says AUT students who participated in the paper gained a huge amount of practical knowledge and skills through the process of creating their concepts, supported by excellent mentors from Resident, who enabled them to look at their projects critically.

“Every one of the AUT Creative Technologies students who participated in the Lexus Design Award paper commented on the quality of the mentoring they received under the tutelage of Resident’s Simon James and Scott Bridgens, noting how applicable their advice was to the industry as it currently stands.”

The Lexus Design Award competition works with a world-class panel of judges who are some of today's most influential figures in art, design, and technology. The panel will pick a short list of six designers, from around 2,000 international entries, to receive mentoring and funding, before competing for the Grand Prix trophy in September 2021.

The judges' decision on the Grand Prix winner will be based on the three key principles of the Lexus brand: Anticipate, Innovate, and Captivate. The theme for the 2021 Lexus Design Award is “Design for a Better Tomorrow.”

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