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Lexus New Zealand Partners With AUT To Support Emerging Design Talent

In a move to showcase New Zealand’s innovative design talent on the world stage, Lexus New Zealand has 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.

Lexus New Zealand General Manager of Marketing, Andrew Davis says Lexus has partnered with AUT to run a localised Lexus Design Awards competition as a pre-cursor to the international competition.

“Lexus believes design has the power to change the world and wants to inspire creators to produce ideas that can improve people’s lives,” he says. “We have amazing emerging designers in this country and the partnership with AUT aims to ensure we have strong representation at the 2021 Lexus Design Award.”

The Lexus Design Award AUT competition will utilise the same design criteria as the international competition, with the judging provided by Lexus Ambassadors, Resident design collective, and a Lexus executive. Members of Resident will attend AUT classes to mentor the students that will submit entries into the localised Lexus Design Award competition.

AUT Director of External Engagement, Dr Yvonne Chan, says AUT students enjoy integrating industry projects within their studies and the Lexus Design Awards also provides an opportunity for them to showcase their talent on a global stage.

“Around 60 AUT Creative Technologies students will spend the second semester working on their entries for the coveted global competition enthusiastic to reach Milan - the home of the Design Week in 2021,” she says.

Resident’s Managing Director, Scott Bridgens says the company “has been active in recruiting AUT students in the past and now in our capacity as proud Lexus ambassadors, we are thrilled to be involved with the Lexus Design Awards”.

“From a mentoring and judging perspective, we are excited to collaborate with designers who can anticipate the needs of tomorrow and translate a sustainability-focused design premise into bright new ideas which make the world a better place. There is no limit to the scope of ideas that can be considered for this Design Award, so we wait with baited-breath to see the submissions,” he says.

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.”

“We’ll be looking for a concept, product, or system that overcomes challenges we face today – here in New Zealand, or globally,” Andrew says.

Concepts must anticipate a challenge of the future, address that challenge with an innovative solution, and captivate the imagination with its exceptional design. The criteria are:

  • Anticipate: Does the concept and design anticipate not only the needs of the user experience, but the needs of society?
  • Innovate: Does the design demonstrate the new thinking and originality in its proposal and execution?
  • Captivate: Is the design intriguing and compelling when realized in concept and execution?

Lexus will provide cash prizes to the first, second and third place winners and will host an awards showcase in November with all the Lexus Design Award local entries on display.

Lexus will also assist the local Lexus Design Award AUT winner to submit their entry into the international Lexus Design Award competition, with the top three students being guaranteed a spot on the entry short list.

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