A touch of genius?

A touch of genius?

Mar 24, 2015

If you've ever fancied having clothing draped around your neck that looks vaguely like an octopus, or you want to pull a huge papier-mâché construction over your head so you can 'see through the eyes of an animal', Lexus might be able to help.

Don't worry if you're a fan of the Japanese brand, though, as these aren't some crazy new technologies about to be added to the GS range. Instead, they are some of the projects shortlisted as finalists in the 2015 Lexus Design Award.

Scheduled to be shown in the Lexus space at Milan Design Week in April, the theme for this year's competition was 'Senses' - with 1,171 submissions received from designers in 72 countries across the world.

That number was whittled down to the 12 best, with four renowned designers - Robin Hunicke, Arthur Huang, Max Lamb and Neri & Hu - championing their favourites. This quartet of designs will be turned into physical prototypes, with the winner picking up the Lexus Design Award trophy on April 13.

But, while some of these ideas are brilliant, some verge on the insane. Japan's Keita Ebidzuka, for instance, was championed by Neri & Hu, with the Animal Masks allowing "wearers to see the world through animals' eyes, evoking a mythical world where symbolism meets reality". Yes, quite. Italian duo Caravan (Emanuela Corti and Ivan Parati), Hunicke's choice, came up with clothes that emphasise human senses... and which look like random, dismembered bits of fauna in the initial drawings, for some reason.

The other two shortlisted prototypes were Luz, which provides 'emotional lighting technology' to create an environment appropriate to any weather or climactic condition, and Diomedeidae, an Italian-Japanese collaboration that generates electricity from the flapping movements of a kinetic sculpture. Well, as Elliott Carver said in Tomorrow Never Dies, the fine line between genius and insanity is measured only by success...