Pakistani Girl Gets Selected Among Lexus Design Award Finalists for 2020

Toyota’s sub-brand, Lexus, has announced the six finalists for the 2020 Design Award. NUST graduate, Aqsa Ajmal, has also made it to the top 6 for designing a sewing machine for the visually impaired. This is the first time that a Pakistani has made it to the finalists for the prestigious award.

She was selected based on her proposal ‘Puresewit’ from among 2,042 submissions from 79 countries. The other finalists are from the United States, Europe, China, and Kenya.

Aqsa, along with 5 others, will receive up to 3,000,000 Yen (over $25,000) in funding and mentorship from renowned design leaders to hone their skills and develop prototypes of their innovative ideas.


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Here’s a list of all the finalists and their project descriptions:


  • 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.

About Pursewit

About 45% of the total Pakistani population is associated with the textile industry. Visually impaired people in Pakistan have always found it hard to fulfill their potential due to limited opportunities, therefore, a sewing machine designed specifically for them can help them earn respectable incomes.

Pursewit provides an easier way to incorporate sewing skills into income generation, with increased reliance upon touch and other senses to make use of the machine more intuitive. The thread path is much more simplified and streamlined; the user follows a straight, outlined path from the spool pin to the machine’s arm and through a loop, then down to the needle. The machine provides feedback at each step to ensure the process is completed.

What are your thoughts about Aqsa’s achievement? Let us know in the comments section.

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