Star-studded lineup of Judges and Mentors Announced as Lexus Design Award 2021 Deadline Approaches

04 Oct 2020

  • Participants have until 11 October 2020 to submit their creative ideas
  • Six finalists will receive around USD 25,000 each to cover prototype production costs
  • Their creations will be showcased to a global audience as part of the prestigious Milan Design Week

Lexus has unveiled its full lineup of judges and mentors for the Lexus Design Award 2021, and is reminding emerging designers that they have only a few days remaining to submit their entries before the 11 October 2020 deadline. Now in its ninth year, the annual design competition was established as a global platform to nurture the next generation of creators, and offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for talented designers from around the world.

The event’s judging panel has been completed with the addition of Dong Gong, an acclaimed young Chinese architect, and Greg Lynn, a highly influential American architect and CEO of robotics company Piaggio Fast Forward. They join the panel's returning judges Paola Antonelli, a renowned design influencer and Senior Curator in the Department of Architecture and Design of New York's MoMA, and Simon Humphries, who heads Lexus’ Global Design.

The esteemed judging panel will select one Grand Prix winner from among six finalists during Press Day at the prestigious Milan Design Week 2021. Their decision will be based on three key principles of the Lexus brand: Anticipate, Innovate, and Captivate, with an emphasis on design that leads to a better tomorrow. Lexus will announce the six finalists from thousands of entries in early 2021, who will go on to participate in a workshop with world-class design professionals acting as mentors.

Each will enjoy a priceless experience as the mentors provide direct, interactive guidance in developing prototypes that bring their ideas to life. This year's newest mentor is the artist and designer Sputniko!, whose innovative video and multimedia installations address technology's impact on society. She joins Nigerien architect Mariam Kamara, Dutch designer Sabine Marcelis, and American creative and entrepreneur Joe Doucet.

The mentorship program offers an individual production budget of up to JPY 3 million (over USD 25,000), allowing participants to turn their concepts into functional prototypes that will be exhibited at the finale of Lexus Design Award 2021, scheduled to be held in April 2021. A single winner will be selected after finalists present their prototypes and ideas to the judging panel at the event under the eyes of global media and guests.

“The Lexus Design Award embodies our belief in harnessing the power of creativity to build a better future,” commented Kei Fujita, Chief Representative, Middle East and Central Asia Representative Office, Toyota Motor Corporation. “For almost a decade, this unique platform has been uncovering the brightest new talents and empowering them to turn their ideas into reality. Supporting the next generation is an essential component of our drive to create Amazing Experiences and push the boundaries of what can be achieved through brave design. I’d like to thank the global design community for taking the Lexus Design Award to their hearts and I am looking forward to see what innovations this year’s finalists will bring to Milan.”

The closing date for entries to the Lexus Design Award 2021 competition is October 11, 2020. Please visit for additional information.


Lexus Design Award 2021

Last Submission Date

October 11, 2020

Judging criteria

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


  • Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator for the Department of Architecture and Design at MoMA, NY
  • Dong Gong, Founder / Design Principal of Vector Architects
  • Greg Lynn, Architect and CEO, Piaggio Fast Forward
  • Simon Humphries, Head of Lexus Global Design


  • Joe Doucet, Founder, Joe Doucet x Partners
  • Mariam Kamara, Principal Architect, atelier masōmī
  • Sabine Marcelis, Designer / Founder, Studio Sabine Marcelis
  • Sputniko!, Artist and Designer, Associate Professor of Tokyo University of The Arts Department of Design

Award categories

  • One Grand Prix winner (selected from the six finalists)
  • Six finalists


  • Six finalists invited to the mentorshipa session with mentors from diverse fields who provide guidance to help elevate prototype design.
  • Six finalists invited to Milan Design Week 2021
  • Six prototypes exhibited at the Lexus exhibition space during Milan Design Week 2021
  • Six finalists receive up to 3 million JPY (over $25,000 USD) each to cover prototype production costs
  • Prototypes are to be produced between January and March 2021


Lexus International

Application Process

For more information, visit