Lexus Announces Three Mentors for 2021 DESIGN AWARD

The three design stars represent diverse creative disciplines

Lexus recently announced three mentors for the 2021 LEXUS DESIGN AWARD, the international design competition which is currently accepting submissions from the world’s emerging designers.

Architect Mariam Kamara and designer Sabine Marcelis join as first-time mentors along with designer/inventor Joe Doucet who returns for his second year. A fourth mentor will be announced this fall.

Each mentor carries a unique perspective and expertise, which they will bring directly to the program finalists. Nigerien architect Mariam Kamara creates spaces that elevate, dignify and provide a better quality of life in her projects worldwide. Sabine Marcelis, based in the Netherlands, works in material, installation and object design, seeking magical moments to create unexpected experiences. Joe Doucet, who is a designer, entrepreneur, inventor and creative director, focuses on finding solutions for daily societal challenges in product, furniture, environment and technology design.

Sabine Marcelis said: As a new member of the mentor team, I am very excited to see the ideas of our future generation of designers. Now, more than ever, innovative design-led ideas will play an important role in shaping our future. I cannot wait to guide and help shape and realize these ideas with them, putting a focus on sustainable production processes and innovative and environmentally friendly material choices. Now is a time to think radically so I am hoping the submitted projects will be exactly that!

The judging criteria of the LEXUS DESIGN AWARD are based on three key Lexus brand principles:

AnticipateInnovate and Captivate for a better tomorrow. From among the worldwide entries six finalists will be selected for mentoring by world-class creators at the forefront of their fields. Beginning with a direct mentoring workshop, this unique program also provides months of ongoing mentorship during prototype production until final presentation for Grand Prix judging. With their diverse backgrounds and disciplines mentors give upcoming creators a panoply of valuable advice and fresh perspectives.

In addition, we are pleased to announce that MoMA NY curator Paola Antonelli, a design authority who has served on the jury since the award’s inception, and Simon Humphries, Head of Toyota & Lexus Global Design, Lexus International, will stay on as judges for the LEXUS DESIGN AWARD 2021 program.

The six finalists selected by the Judging Panel will bring their ideas to life as prototypes under their mentors, and exhibit and present their work at Milan Design Week in April 2021. On-site presentations and judging will climax with the announcement of the Grand Prix winner.

The final roster of judges and mentors will be announced this fall.

Entries for the LEXUS DESIGN AWARD 2021 will be accepted until October 11.

LEXUS DESIGN AWARD 2020 is still ongoing and will conclude with the Grand Prix Winner announcement on September 1st.

For more information on LEXUS DESIGN AWARD 2021, please visit





A designer, entrepreneur, inventor and creative director, Joe Doucet is one of the most sought-after creative talents working in America today. His work deftly hybridizes function and visual appeal while conveying layers of meaning and message. Doucet believes that design and, more importantly, a designer’s thought process can play a larger role in innovation and problem solving, as well as aesthetics. He currently holds numerous patents for his designs and inventions. Doucet’s work has been exhibited globally and has received numerous international awards, including a World Technology Award for Design Innovation and multiple Good Design Awards. Doucet was named the 2017 Winner of the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award as Product Designer―the highest honor in his field. He is also Designer of the Year 2019 finalist by Dezeen, and a recipient of Fast Company’s Most Important Design Companies of 2019.




Mariam Kamara is a Nigerien architect. In 2014, Kamara founded atelier masōmī, an architecture and research firm, tackling a wide variety of public, cultural, residential, commercial and urban design projects. Notably, The Religious-Secular Complex of Dandaji in Niger, a collaborative cultural project with Studio Chahar, won the 2017 Gold LafargeHolcim Award for Africa and Middle East, and the 2018 Silver Global LafargeHolcim Award for Sustainable Architecture. Kamara served as Adjunct Associate Professor at Brown University and is a recurring Architecture Critic at the Rhode Island School of Design (R.I.S.D.) Kamara’s work is guided by the belief that architects have an important role to play in thinking spaces that have the power to elevate, dignify, and provide a better quality of life. Since 2018, Kamara has been Sir David Adjaye’s protégé under the Rolex Mentor Protégé program, and is a 2019 Laureate of the Price Claus Award, recognizing creatives having a positive impact on their societies.




Sabine Marcelis is a Dutch designer who runs her practice from the harbor of Rotterdam. After graduating from the Design Academy of Eindhoven in 2011, Marcelis began working as an independent designer within the fields of product, installation and spacial design with a strong focus on materiality. Her work is characterized by pure forms which highlight material properties. Marcelis applies a strong aesthetic point of view to her collaborations with industry specialists. This method of working allows her to intervene in the manufacturing process, using material research and experimentation to achieve new and surprising visual effects for projects both showcased in musea and commissioned by commercial clients and fashion houses. Sabine recently won the prestigious Wallpaper awards ‘Designer of the year 2020’, The Elle Deco International Design award 2019 ‘Young designer of the year’ and ‘GQ Men of the year 2019’ International Artist of the year.