Lexus announced its return as automotive partner and forthcoming collaboration for Design Miami/, partnering with the University of Miami to realize a vision of an electrified future that embodies the energy of next-generation design. Led by Germane Barnes – principal architect at Studio Barnes, assistant professor at the University of Miami School of Architecture and director of the CHIL Lab focused on social and political impact of architecture – the project will culminate in an immersive installation on view at Design Miami/ 2021 with digital components that will resonate globally. Inspired by the LF-Z concept car, which embodies a vision for the future of the automotive field that is human-centered, carbon-neutral and impeccably crafted, the project will present a conceptual exhibition of these values.
With a commitment to innovation that has spanned three decades, Lexus continues to push the boundaries of technology and craft in an evolving luxury landscape. Lexus is unwavering in its dedication to forward-looking, technologically advanced design and exceptional performance features that pay consideration to changing needs for transportation and lifestyles worldwide. Entering its fourth year as the Automotive Partner of Design Miami/, this year’s partnership will center on the LF-Z Electrified concept car, which symbolizes the next generation of Lexus.
“We’re excited to partner with Germane Barnes and the University of Miami for this year’s edition of Design Miami/, and we’re looking forward to seeing their vision for a more human-centric and carbon-neutral future come to life,” commented Brian Bolain, Lexus’ global head of marketing. “The LF-Z Electrified represents the next chapter of Lexus, paving the way forward for the next generation. The installation will illuminate that vision from the perspective of future designers.”
Miami-based architect, designer and educator Germane Barnes is widely recognized for his work exploring the intersections of identity and architecture. The collaboration will be directed by Barnes, along with the School of Architecture’s Labs and Centers, each of which examines a key emerging field of research and provides new opportunities for student and faculty participation. Bringing together both his Studio Barnes team as well as students from the school, the collaborative project will use the car as a point of inspiration to explore the potential for an electrified, carbon-neutral, human-centered future that is just on the horizon.
“Lexus has long been an inspiration to my work, as a symbol of luxury, craftsmanship and a vision of future potential that is recognized across cultures and communities as an icon of quality,” noted Barnes. “The opportunity to realize an installation that explores this heritage while celebrating the potential and vision represented by the LF-Z Electrified concept car is an incredible one, especially in coordination with my team at Studio Barnes and the students and faculty at the University of Miami School of Architecture labs. We’re so excited to show the world the potential that the future holds at this year’s Design Miami/, both through the exploration of Lexus’s next generation vehicle and through the talent, energy and vision of the next generation of designers working with me to realize this project.”
Designed to engage audiences worldwide, as seen in Lexus’ 2020 presentation of “Freedom to Move” with Tosin Oshinowo and Chrissa Amuah, this year’s physical installation will complemented by a dynamic digital experience, engaging international content creators and delivering compelling visuals, in addition to taking-shape at Design Miami/ at the Miami Beach Convention Center, on view from December 1-5, 2021. Additional details on the installation will be shared in the coming weeks.
ABOUT GERMANE BARNES
Germane Barnes is the principal architect of Studio Barnes, and Assistant Professor and the Director of the Community Housing & Identity Lab (CHIL) at the University of Miami School of Architecture. Barnes’ practice investigates the connection between architecture and identity, examining architecture’s social and political agency through historical research and design speculation. Believing strongly in design as a process, he approaches each condition imposed on a project as an opportunity for transformation.
His work has recently been exhibited in the Museum of Modern Art’s groundbreaking 2020 exhibition, Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America, and the 2021 Chicago Architecture Biennial. He was a winner of the 2021 Architectural League Prize for Young Architects and Designers, and is a 2021-2022 Rome Prize Fellow at the American Academy in Rome. With his winning proposal for the prestigious Harvard School of Design’s 2021 Wheelwright Prize, Anatomical Transformations in Classical Architecture, Barnes will examine classical Roman and Italian architecture through contributions of the African Diaspora. Barnes received a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Master of Architecture from Woodbury University where he was awarded the Thesis Prize for his project Symbiotic Territories: Architectural Investigations of Race, Identity, and Community.
ABOUT THE SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE LABS AND CENTERS
The University of Miami School of Architecture stewards a series of Labs and Centers each developed around a key emerging research area within the field of architecture, working with faculty to bring specialized knowledge to the program. Areas of investigation span social and political impact, exploration into augmented reality and digital futures, digital fabrication and robotics, and urbanism.
With collaboration across the labs, projects have included the Miami Highrise exhibition, in which ten 3D printed iconic Miami high rise buildings were embedded in augmented reality technology, and Dark Mode, an exhibition observing the spatialization of the Black body in Miami.
Additionally functioning to develop an expanded network outside of the school, the labs and centers provide new opportunities for student and faculty participation, which has recently included the Museum of Modern Art’s Reconstructions exhibition, the 2021 Chicago Architecture Biennial, and community design for Delray Beach, Florida.
ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI AND SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE
The University of Miami is a private research University and academic health system with a distinct geographic capacity to connect institutions, individuals, and ideas across the hemisphere and around the world. The University’s vibrant and diverse academic community comprises 12 schools and colleges serving more than 17,000 undergraduate and graduate students in more than 180 majors and programs. Located within one of the most dynamic and multicultural cities in the world, the University is building new bridges across geographic, cultural, and intellectual borders, bringing a passion for scholarly excellence, a spirit of innovation, a respect for including and elevating diverse voices, and a commitment to tackling the challenges facing our world. The School of Architecture, which enrolls more than 500 students in both undergraduate and graduate programs, is at the forefront of preparing students for professional leadership in architecture, urbanism, and related fields. The school employs research, professional engagement, and creative practice to advance knowledge, technology, environmental responsibility, social equity, and economic sustainability.
Lexus launched in 1989 with a flagship sedan and a guest experience that helped define the premium automotive industry. In 1998, Lexus introduced the luxury crossover category with the launch of the Lexus RX. The luxury hybrid sales leader, Lexus delivered the world’s first luxury hybrid and has since sold over 1.5 million hybrid vehicles.
A global luxury automotive brand with an unwavering commitment to bold, uncompromising design, exceptional craftsmanship, and exhilarating performance, Lexus has developed its lineup to meet the needs of the next generation of global luxury guests and is currently available in over 90 countries worldwide.
Lexus associates/team members across the world are dedicated to crafting amazing experiences that are uniquely Lexus, and that excite and change the world.