Pakistani Student Gets Selected For Finals Of Lexus Design Award 2020

NUST Alumni, Aqsa Ajmal, has reached the finals for the Lexus Design Award 2020 amongst 2042 submissions for designing a sewing machine for the visually impaired.

Lexus Design Award is a competition that invites today’s emerging design leaders to ‘Design for a Better Tomorrow’ for an opportunity to achieve recognition on the world stage. The challenge includes concepts that must anticipate a challenge of the future, address that challenge with an innovative solution, and captivate the imagination with its exceptional design. In the latest installment of the Lexus Design Award, a Pakistani student got selected for the finals for 2020.

Lexus recently unveiled their six finalists for the 2020 Design Award and NUST graduate, Aqsa Ajmal, made it to the top 6 for designing a sewing machine for the visually impaired. As a first for the nation, Aqsa was shortlisted as a result of her project proposal known as ‘Puresewit’ which was shortlisted from among 2,042 submissions from 79 countries overall. The other finalists were representing countries such as United States, Europe, China, and Kenya. All of these proposed will now receive around 3,000,000 Yen (over $25,000) in funding and will also receive mentorship from renowned design leaders from across the world; to enhance their skillset and learn to implement and launch prototypes of their ideas.

Pursewit imparts sewing skills with an increased reliance focus on touch and other senses to use machine more intuitive. The thread path is more simplified and the user follows through a convenient spool pin to the machine’s arm and through a loop, then down to the needle. The machine also provides feedback to ensure the process is completed. According to Lexus, the 5 finalists included:

  • Bio.Scales, by Sutherlin Santo (USA) – A modular, carbon-sequestering air filtration system assembled from robotically 3D printed biopolymer scales.
  • Feltscape, by Théophile Peju & Salvatore Cicero (France, Italy / Based in the United Kingdom) – A breathing felt cloud that interacts with people and space to enhance well-being.
  • Flash Pak, by Yaokun Wu (China / Based in the USA) – A smart survival apparatus that protects young students and helps them stay together in flash floods.
  • Lick, by Irina Samoilova (Russia) – A portable body cleaner for humans with a unique surface similar to a cat’s tongue.
  • Open Source Communities, by BellTower (Kenya) – A project exploring the future of smart sustainable communities in developing countries using open-source home plans.
  • Pursewit, by Aqsa Ajmal (Pakistan) – An accessible sewing machine that incorporates sewing skills to assist in income generation for the visually impaired.