Designer BELLTOWER, KENYA
BellTower's entry, entitled "Open Source Communities," was selected by judges as the Grand Prix Winner for Lexus Design Award 2020. It addresses challenges often found in developing countries by using smart open-source planning to design affordable communities with sustainable clean water resources.
Announcing the panel's decision, program judge and Studio Gang Founding Principal Jeanne Gang said, " At different moments in time, design has celebrated bold aesthetics, extreme functionality, and even humor and wit. But today, with our world plagued by the enormous issues of climate change and social inequality, there is a design imperative for systemic design solutions. The Grand Prix Winner expands our definition of design to include systems of finance for community projects and engages the critical role clean drinking water plays in citizens' ability to thrive. By addressing the way that the project will come into being and be sustained economically, the designers broaden our thinking about what design is and could be. While the project is an apparatus to collect and store rainwater for safe drinking, it is also a financial game plan for empowering a community."
BellTower’s John Brian Kamau said “Our journey began with many challenges. However, we persevered to showcase our ambitious concept. Our experience has taught us invaluable lifelong lessons. All our future designs will be aligned with the key principles we learned as part of the Lexus family."
BellTower was established in 2014 with the vision of using open source systems and technologies to solve problems. They came together to create a team with skills in Risk Management, Information Technology, Design, Project Management and Strategy to build an open-source community model for personal, corporate and industrial needs.
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