AUT Bachelor of Design student Mark Rous has achieved second place at this year’s Lexus Design Awards.
The second-year industrial design student was awarded the $1500 cash prize for his modular seating and air filtration system, 'Saddle’.
Intended for high use areas like waiting rooms and office lobbies, Saddle seating contains a filtration system designed to improve air quality.
The system aims to help people with allergies or respiratory concerns, and to mitigate the spread of illnesses like Covid-19.
The Saddle system’s pre-filter is made from scoured and highly absorbent strong wool from New Zealand sheep, which can draw volatile organic compounds, like formaldehyde, from the air and trap them within its fibres. The pre-filter can also trap hair, dust and large pollen particles.
Air is then pulled through a commercial HEPA filter that captures finer particles, and an activated carbon filter to capture odours.
Saddle’s modular furniture components allow the user to arrange seating to suit their needs, and to select the correct number of air purifier pieces to suit a room’s size. A single Saddle purifier unit can service a room of between 22 and 38 square metres.
To reduce costs for the client, additional back segments can be hollow, allowing air to flow through them. This also provides flexibility for the placement of the purifier unit according to airflow, access and power needs.
For a third consecutive year, Lexus New Zealand has collaborated with university students at Auckland University of Technology to showcase and encourage Aotearoa’s top designers on the global platform that is the international Lexus Design Award.
The theme of the competition was ‘Design for a Better Tomorrow’.
Lexus New Zealand has endorsed all 10 domestic competition entries, including Rous, Jennifer Susanto and Joan Merced, to progress through to the international 2023 Lexus Design Awards.