2022 Lexus Design Awards

Lexus Design Awards

The Brief

The Lexus Design Award is an international competition that inspires the next generation of designers.

Since 2020, Lexus of New Zealand had teamed up with AUT Faculty of Design to offer exclusive access to top New Zealand design mentors and encourage New Zealand entries into the International Lexus Design Award competition.

Wright Communications was tasked with developing and delivering the third iteration of the local Lexus Design Competition, designed to run in parallel to existing university curriculum and increase entries into the global competition.

The Wright Approach

To continue growing the presence of the award and its legacy in New Zealand, Wright Communications offered an opportunity to the University of Auckland to take part in the exclusive local competition. This resulted in a successful new partnership, working with Industrial Design students from Auckland’s Faculty of Design.

The Lexus Design Award international competition works with a world-class panel of mentors and judges who are some of today's most influential figures in art, design, and technology. The judges are looking for design that “goes beyond the mastery of shape, form and function, and becomes a solution to overcome challenges.”

We delivered the same experience in New Zealand, engaging Simon James and Scott Bridgens from Resident to guest tutor students at key moments through Semester two. Both mentors provided valuable insights and real world design experience to help students refine their thinking.

We also secured media partnerships with MiNDFOOD and Idealog to document the local competition and elevate the work of students involved with design-minded audiences.

Wright Communications arranged for content to be captured throughout the award process, filming behind the scenes at mentoring sessions and producing a series of videos of winners to share with media and on social channels.


A total of 10 entries were submitted to the local competition across the three papers/courses that were engaged. 1st Place was awarded to Uttam Raju, from UoA for Calico's Salty Solution, an innovative desalination structure. Second place was Mark Rous from AUT for his air purifying seat, SADDLE. Tony Cao, from UoA was awarded third place for his LED powered Advanced Sleep Mask.

1.2 million in reach was secured due to two media partnerships, with deliverables across two print titles, four digital stories, EDM inclusion and social media amplification from both MiNDFOOD and Idealog. TODAY FM also interviewed winner Uttam Raju live on air.

The 2022 Lexus Design Award prizegiving was attended by over 80 guests including Karen Walker and Simon James, with University of Auckland faculty staff engaging in discussions to expand the competition yet again in 2024.

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