Lexus New Zealand has announced that University of Auckland design student Uttam (Calico) Raju has won the local 2023 Lexus Design Award competition, for his entry “Calico’s Salty Solution”. Calico’s design utilises the combination of hydroponic farming and mirrors to create thermal energy and desalinate water, a sustainable alternative for converting seawater to freshwater.
Addressing water-scarcity issues and limiting freshwater spending – 70% of which is allocated to agriculture, the water would then be distributed to residents for drinking and to a vertical farm growing fresh produce.
Lexus New Zealand General Manager Andrew Davis says, “our judges had a difficult time choosing a top three this year, let alone a winner, after ten strong entries were submitted. Calico’s innovative concept stood out to us due to his ambitious concept and the potential for his design to scale up, bettering the lives of millions.
For a third consecutive year, Lexus New Zealand has collaborated with university students at Auckland University of Technology to showcase and encourage Aotearoa’s top designers on the global platform that is the international Lexus Design Award. This is the first year the competition has also been open to students at the University of Auckland.
Students from both universities involved in the local competition were tasked with creating written submissions supported by imagery to present concepts that address 2023’s competition theme: ‘Design for a Better Tomorrow’. This year, the winners have brought to the table new aesthetics, material, and behavioural approaches to their unique designs.
Lexus will provide cash prizes to the first, second and third place winners of $2,500, $1,500 and $1,000 respectively. The winners were announced last night at a prizegiving ceremony hosted by AUT.
The winning concepts were:
First Place: Uttam Raju – Calico’s Salty Solution
“A sustainable alternative for converting seawater to freshwater”, this design utilizes the combination of hydroponic farming and mirrors to create thermal energy and desalinate water.
This water will then be distributed to local residents for drinking and to a vertical farm growing fresh produce. This design addresses water-scarcity issues and aims to limit freshwater spending – 70% of which is allocated to agriculture.
Second Place: Mark Rous – Saddle
SADDLE is a modular furniture system – with a twist. Designed for areas with high throughput of people such as waiting rooms and lobbies, this design incorporates a system that increases air quality to support thosewith respiratory issues and aids with COVID-19 mitigation.
Saddle uses a three-piece filter system including a Strong Wool pre-filter, a commercial HEPA filter and an activated carbon filter to reduce large hair, dust and pollen particles, fine micron particulates and odours.
Third Place: Tony Cao – Advanced Sleeping Mask
This design is a new and improved version of the standard sleeping mask, incorporating an alternative to traditional sound-based alarm systems.
Using gradual light exposure to imitate the rising of the sun, this design creates a gentle wake up ritual to increase sleep quality and reduce the chances of waking up other people sleeping nearby with noisy alarms.
To learn more about the Lexus Design Award, visit lexus.co.nz