Thursday, August 21, 2014

Being in Touch With Your Senses Can Bring You Closer to Lexus, Milan and ¥2.5 Million

Ah, the sights, smells, sounds, tastes and feel of Milan in the spring! Designers who have innovative ideas can enter the 2015 Lexus Design Award for a chance to display their works at the 2015 Milan Design Week, be mentored by international creatives and receive up to ¥2.5 million to build a prototype of their own. The third Lexus Design Award competition is open for entries!

First launched in 2013, the Lexus Design Award is an international competition that supports young creatives who tackle problems using design. It features a unique mentoring program for four entrants that helps them produce working prototypes of their innovative ideas and showcase their concepts to an elite design community.

The theme of the 2015 Lexus Design Award is "Senses." A wide range of possibilities open with a broad subject that influences perception and is intrinsic to life. This year the theme also bridges design with the driving experience, something with which Lexus is very familiar. All senses are engaged with eye-catching vehicle styling, the sound of the finely tuned engine, the feel of semi-aniline leather seats, and the “new car smell.” By considering this array of examples, Lexus seeks to illicit extraordinary responses that explore the five senses.

The Lexus Design Award provides an opportunity for 12 finalists and their works to receive wide exposure in the design community and beyond through exposure at 2015 Milan Design Week. In addition, four of the finalists — twice as many as last year — will receive up to ¥2.5 million and support from international design mentors as they develop their prototypes. This year’s mentors are Arthur Huang, Robin Hunicke, Neri & Hu, and Max Lamb. At 2015 Milan Design Week, the creators of the four prototypes will present their designs at the Lexus pavilion before the Grand Prix winner is announced.

Entries to the 2015 Lexus Design Award competition will be accepted through November 3, 2014 at The 12 finalists will be announced in early 2015.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Lexus and The Weinstein Company Re-team to Produce The Second Lexus Short Film Series

Lexus supports young creators by challenging two rising filmmakers to interpret “Life is Amazing” through short films.

Lexus and The Weinstein Company have once again come together in the spirit of innovation to produce two new short films for their second annual “Life is Amazing” Lexus Short Films series. Two rising filmmakers (Jon Goldman, Satsuki Okawa with script writer Ken Ochiai) are being mentored by acclaimed members of the film community including actress Katie Holmes (The Giver, Wonder Boys) and directors Justin Chadwick (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, upcoming Tulip Fever), Simon Curtis (My Week With Marilyn, upcoming Woman in Gold), Antoine Fuqua (Brooklyn’s Finest, Training Day, upcoming Southpaw), and Phillip Noyce (The Giver, The Quiet American).

The group will also film featurettes that highlight the mentoring process as each talent meets with the up-and-coming directors and offers guidance and support. The pieces will also focus on the art of the short film, the evolution of the medium and its importance, and the growing global appetite for the format. The featurettes will be released leading up to the films' theatrical run in Los Angeles and the worldwide release in October.

Said Noyce, “It’s an honor to have been approached by The Weinstein Company and Lexus International to participate in such an innovative and important program. What they are doing with the next generation of filmmakers will have a significant impact in the world of cinema. I’m truly excited for audiences to see what these talented, young directors are creating.”

The first presentation of the shorts, Market Hours and Operation Barn Owl, took place at the Short Shorts Film Festival in Tokyo on May 29th. As part of the marketing campaign, both films will play at numerous festivals around the world including the Los Angeles Shorts Festival, The Rhode Island Film Festival, and The Portland Film Festival. They will also be attached to major Weinstein Company releases such as The Giver.

World premieres will take place July 30th in Los Angeles and August 6th in New York. Noyce will show footage from his new upcoming Weinstein Company film The Giver, starring Brenton Thwaites, Odeya Rush, Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, Alexander Skarsgard, Katie Holmes, and Taylor Swift at the New York event.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Five Simple Ways to Improve Gas Mileage

1. Run several errands in one trip. Pick up the dry cleaning, dog food and groceries in one trip. Even better, do it on your way to or from work.

2. Reduce Weight. Less weight in your car means that the engine won’t have to work as hard. Eliminate unnecessary cargo, especially during your daily commute because those miles add up quick.

3. Keep your tires inflated to manufacturer standards. This one is easy and makes a huge difference. Low inflated tires will have a drastic effect on the fuel mileage your car gets.

4. Don’t speed! While each car has a different optimal speed to fuel mileage ratio, a good rule to keep in mind is that, on average, every 5 mph over 50 mph that you travel costs an extra 25 cents/gallon.

5. Use cruise control and overdrive. Most modern car’s cruise control uses a computer to achieve the best possible fuel economy. Using overdrive, especially on the freeway, engages a higher gear ratio, effectively reducing the amount of work your car’s engine is exerting.

We hope these five tips can help save you some money. If you have any other tricks that you like to implement, be sure to let us know!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Hurrican Season Preparedness Tips: Be Ready

The Atlantic hurricane season officially began on June 1st. While most of us in this part of the country have experience dealing with tropical weather, it never hurts to brush up on hurricane safety.

2013 Hurricane Season Quick Facts:

Total Depressions: 15
Total Storms: 14 
Hurricanes: 2
Major Hurricanes (Cat. 3+): 0
Total Damage: At least $1.51 Billion (USD)
Fatalities: 47

Last year was the first season since 1994 that the Atlantic region encountered zero major hurricanes. A major hurricane is characterized by a category three or higher. While that's great news, history has proven that such an occurrence is rare and that you should be well prepared this season for whatever Mother Nature has in store. 

Even though there were no major hurricanes last year, by the NOAA's standards, 47 fatalities were still suffered. This shows that, even in the weakest of hurricane seasons, it is still important to be prepared. 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) provides a four-point general preparedness plan.

1. Gather Information: This step includes keeping a list of emergency contacts, and preemptively analyzing your local risk in the occurrence of a storm. 

2. Plan and Take Action: Develop a family emergency plan, taking into account unlikely situations and contingencies. Have evacuations locations ready. Review your school, work, city and local harbor procedures for hurricane occurrences. 

3. Recover: Wait until the area has been declared safe before returning.

4. Resources: Visit the NOAA website for available resources. 

Another important practice is to prepare an emergency supply kit. Some important items include, but are not limited to: Water, 3-day supply of non-perishable food, hand-crank radio, flashlight and extra batteries. More info on how to prepare an emergency supply kit can be found here.

The NOAA's motto is "Be Ready." It would be very wise to heed the professional's advice.

Monday, March 31, 2014

En garde! April Fools Pranks for Car Lovers

Each year it seems that April 1st pranks just get more outrageous. Seriously, maybe you shouldn't even leave the house. And don't even think about getting on Facebook. 

Perhaps the best way to avoid falling victim to the shenanigans this year is to administer the deception. After all, they do say that the best defense is a good offense.

Here are a few ideas for pranks involving cars. 

*Disclaimer: People take their cars very seriously so choose your victim wisely.

1. Cellophane wrapping. This one needs no explanation.

2. Accessory Overload. If you have access to your victim's keys, this one can be really great! Turn on the radio, wipers, A/C, hazards, parking brake and whatever else you can think of so that the next time they get in the car, well...

3. Balancing Act. Using tape or a similar adhesive utility, secure an empty coffee cup or mug to the top of your car. Watch the bewildered stares as you maneuver around the city with seemingly super driving powers.

4. Hit and run. Leave a note that will make your victim think that somebody hit their car!

5. A smashing success. Obtain an old car window from a scrap yard. Smash it to pieces, roll your victim's car windows down and place the broken glass on their seat and on the ground. All that's left is to break the news.

Let us know if you have any auto related pranks of your own!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Ciao Bella! Designs From International Artists Showcased At Lexus’ Milan Design Week Display


Whether it’s the sleek styling of the new RC F sports car, the exhibits at Lexus’ INTERSECT space in Tokyo, or as part of its display at Milan Design Week, Lexus is committed to showcasing outstanding designs.

Milan Design Week, also known as Salone Del Mobile, is the world’s largest design exhibition and will be held April 9-13, 2014. Furniture makers and fashion brands stage a variety of related events throughout Milan to highlight the appeal and originality of their designs.

Appearing in the Lexus display at Circolo Filologico Milanese will be designs from Italian Fabio Novembre, Japanese Nao Tamura and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Tangible Media Group led by Professor Hiroshi Ishii. These creations will be joined by the 12 winning works from the second Lexus Design Award (LDA).

Lexus challenged Novembre, Tamura and MIT to create unique responses to the theme of “Amazing in Motion” and to express the concepts in a way that was completely new to their creative process.

Two of the LDA winners being showcased at the event will display finished prototypes of their designs prepared in collaboration with influential creative professionals who offered their services as mentors. This year’s mentors are Taiwanese architect/engineer Arthur Huang and American game designer Robin Hunicke. Huang will help showcase Britain’s James Fox’s “Macian” idea for creating kids’ forts. Hunicke is the mentor for Germany’s Sebastian Scherer’s “Iris,” a handblown glass lamp with an iridescent, shimmering coating.

Since the launch of the LDA in late 2012, Lexus has been supporting great design: from working with established creators to championing new talent.