The nature of design

The Lexus Meraki in Pune plays host to the Nature Electrified design contest and the evo India fan meetup
Top entries that were displayed at the Lexus Meraki in Pune.
Top entries that were displayed at the Lexus Meraki in Pune.Shot by Rohit G Mane for evo India

Following our Earth Day road trip with the Lexus NX350h and the fan meet-up at the Lexus guest experience centre in Kochi, we invited you to participate in the Lexus Nature Electrified design contest. We asked amateur and professional artists among you to design a livery for the NX350h with the theme of Nature Electrified. The winning design would be unveiled on Nature Conservation Day which is July 28, applied to an NX350h, which would then tour the Lexus guest experience centres across India. We received over 50 entries from all over India, out of which we chose the top 13 that were displayed at the Lexus Meraki in Pune to be judged by our expert jury.

The esteemed panel of jury members consisted of Sirish Chandran, editorial director, evo India; Adil Jal Darukhanawala, automotive historian and journalist; Ankur Sharma, designer of the Mahindra Thar and Scorpio N; Maral Yazarloo-Patrick, motorcyclist and fashion designer; Karuna Laungani, co-founder of JODI/JodiLife; Sudhir Sharma, founder and CEO of IndiDesign; Nikhilesh Shrikhande, marketing head, Lexus India and Manoj K Das, managing editor at Asianet News.

The esteemed panel of jury members.
The esteemed panel of jury members.Shot by Rohit G Mane for evo India

The jury members spent a few hours reviewing the designs, understanding the concepts and judging whether they reflected the theme of “Nature Electrified”. The judges also paid close attention to the use of colour and the craftsmanship in these works of art. Ankur Sharma spoke about his evaluation process, “So my first criteria for evaluation was which artwork hits me emotionally, then you get into the rational part of it in terms of the craftsmanship.” Adil Jal Darukhanawala said about his evaluation criteria: “Honestly speaking, we need to get immersed in the design, in the real character or the theme.” Maral had her own perspective on how she was looking at things, she said, “The first thing that I look at is which design turns my head and makes me think, and then if what I see on it actually takes me to the journey which we wanted to achieve.” Meanwhile, Manoj K. Das said, “It need not represent elements of nature; it could be a play of colours; it could be something sheer black and white, but that has originality.”

Some specific designs stood out to jury members. Karuna Laungani talks about Riya Jaria’s design, “I was really drawn to this design because I liked the juxtaposition of the lion with the mountain.” Sirish Chandran said, “There are a lot of designs which are made on a black base, so a matte black car with subtle detailing, but detailing that when you actually go into it is very intricate, and that is what appeals to me.” Sudhir Sharma spoke about the design by thirteen-year-old Akshat Hupale, “I think for a thirteen-year-old, this is a very good entry because he’s got the lines, he’s got the motions, he’s got the illustration, and colours very right onto this, and I think at that age to start into something like this is amazing.” After much deliberation, the jury members scored the designs and came up with their final choices. In the end, the top five designs were chosen to proceed to the next round, which was at the evo India fan meetup.

The following day, the Lexus Meraki was swarming with enthusiastic fans who were thrilled to meet our entire team. We spent hours chatting with fellow petrolheads about all things automotive. Budding photographers and journalists also got an insight into life at evo India and a few tips on how to pursue their passions. They also got the opportunity to ask our editor questions and pick his brain on all sorts of topics.

We spent hours chatting with fellow petrolheads about all things automotive.
We spent hours chatting with fellow petrolheads about all things automotive.Shot by Rohit G Mane for evo India

The stars of the show, however, were parked outside: the imposing Lexus LX 500d and the elegant LS 500h. The fans got a rare opportunity to view these amazing machines up close, sit inside them, and experience the craftsmanship that went into the making, while getting a demonstration by the experts at evo India and Lexus. We quizzed our fans on their knowledge of the Lexus brand and its cars, and those who answered correctly received evo India merchandise. Everyone got a chance to vote for their favourite design as well. The votes are being tallied along with the votes we received on social media, and the winner will be announced shortly.

Fans got to check out the Lexus LX 500d.
Fans got to check out the Lexus LX 500d.Shot by Rohit G Mane for evo India

The Lexus Meraki space was created not just to showcase cars but also to allow Lexus to interact with the community and its customers. It combines modern interior design with classical design elements, such as the traditional Indian musical instruments displayed on the walls. Meraki is a Greek word which means to do something with soul, creativity or love. In other words, to put something of yourself into your work. This is what Lexus accomplishes with their vehicles, as well as what the Nature Electrified design contestants have done. 

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