A design from Algorithmic Lace.

LEXUS’ SIX-PACK: This year’s Lexus Design Awards has been whittled down to six finalists from 1,548 entries.

Design for a Better Tomorrow” is the theme for designers who have been asked to explore design that goes beyond the mastery of shape, form and function to offer a solution to overcome challenges. From a 3-D-custom lace bra for breast cancer survivors to a modular house designed to sustain earthquakes and floods, the finalists offer forward-thinking designs. Their creations will be showcased at the Lexus Design Award Pavilion at the Milan Design Week 2019. One winner will receive the Grand Prix prize and will receive production support from Lexus with further mentorship from elite judges.

This year’s finalists face the jury of David Adjaye, Paola Antonelli, John Maeda and Yoshihiro Sawa. This year’s mentors are also highly esteemed in the world of design — Jaime Hayon, Jessica Rosenkrantz, Shohei Shigematsu and Sebastian Wrong. They will each be paired with a finalist to share their knowledge and offer hands-on support.

Vying for the top prize are Algorithmic Lace’s Lisa Marks, who created the 3-D custom-lace bra for breast cancer survivors; Arenophile’s Rezzan Hasoglu who is exploring desert sand with different binding materials to create products, and Baluto’s Jeffrey E. Dela Cruz, who developed the modular housing system designed to withstand natural disasters. Also in the running are Green Blast Jet Energy’s Dmitriy Balashov, who made a turbine that collects and converts aircraft jet blast to energy during takeoff; Hydrus’ Shuzhan Yuan, who developed emergency treatment equipment for offshore oil spills that increase work efficiency, and Solgami’s Prevalent, the Ben Berwick-designed window blind that generates electricity and increases internal illumination.

Their imaginative but practical projects will be part of an exhibition in the heart of Zona Tortona. The Lexus pavilion is being designed by Japanese art and technology design firm Rhizomatiks. Several finalists used biodegradable materials and renewable energy sources and aimed to reduce the carbon footprint.