Since 2013, the Lexus Design Award has supplied a once-in-a-lifetime alternative for designers to not solely work with world-class mentors, but in addition exhibit their work to a world viewers at Milan Design Week. Artistic Bloq attended the occasion at Superstudio Più final week, the place we explored the 4 successful concepts and talked with the designers about their course of.
Among the many remaining designs is Contact the Valley, a 3D topographical puzzle for the visually impaired. Created by USA-based design group Short-term Workplace, it was by the Lexus Design Award’s mentorship programme that the undertaking discovered its focus. (Feeling meditative? Try the perfect puzzles out there in 2023.)
Contact the Valley (opens in new tab) entails matching adjoining contouring items to recreate actual mountainous landmarks resembling Yosemite or Monument Valley, and expertise the bodily world by contact. Designers Vincent Lai and Douglas Lee had been impressed to create the preliminary design by each their shared love of board video games, and their skilled expertise as architectural designers – which concerned making fashions for shoppers that wanted to be transported.
But it surely was by working with mentors Sumayya Vally and Yuri Suzuki that the group skilled a “get up name” second, giving them the main focus to direct the puzzle particularly in the direction of visually impaired folks. This led the the breakthrough of transferring away from conventional puzzle ‘socket’ and ‘loop’ connectors, and in the direction of a way more tactile (and aesthetically pleasing) magnet system.
“The magnet is likely one of the key options we added to the prototype,” the group advised Artistic Bloq. “This makes it simpler for folks to confirm if the items are adjoining to each-other, simply by merely transferring them shut collectively”
However whereas Short-term Workplace is at the moment focussed on the visually impaired, the studio can see the attraction for a extra normal viewers. “Firstly, we needed to design for the visually impaired as a result of they’ve a selected method of navigating their surroundings – we needed to make use of the sensitivity they’ve constructed up and construct it right into a product. However finally we’re excited by reaching normal customers as a result of finally, we need to encourage everybody to the touch and never simply use their visible to problem-solve. It may merely be one thing cool to place in your espresso desk. It doesn’t simply must be a mind-boggling problem.”
To search out out extra about Contact the Valley, and the remainder of the successful designs, check out the Lexus Design Award (opens in new tab) web site.