MILAN, IT (APRIL 17, 2023)―Today, Lexus unveiled Shaped by Air―an installation by acclaimed New York-based artist and architect Suchi Reddy, founder of Reddymade Architecture and Design―alongside prototypes by the four LEXUS DESIGN AWARD 2023 winners. Responding to an overarching theme―shaping the future―the public exhibition will be on view until April 23 at Superstudio in Milan.
Lexus has created compelling, immersive experiences for visitors at Milan Design Week for many years, partnering with visionary creatives such as Philippe Nigro, Neri Oxman, Sou Fujimoto, Rhizomatics, and Germane Barnes, among others. Continuing in this tradition, Reddy’s Shaped by Air draws inspiration from the Lexus Electrified Sport concept vehicle and its quality of being “shaped by air.” It was first presented in the sculpture garden at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami (ICA Miami) during Miami Art & Design Week 2022, and it has been reimagined for Milan Design Week as a multisensory experience through which visitors can travel. Reddy’s ethereal installation celebrates the collaborators’ shared commitment to human-centered, carbon-neutral, and impeccably-crafted design.
“We are thrilled to continue our collaboration with Suchi Reddy in Milan, a place that has inspired so much groundbreaking creativity. We hope that by situating her human-centered approach to design in dialogue with the innovation of our LEXUS DESIGN AWARD 2023 winners, we will inspire visitors to imagine new futures,” said Brian Bolain, Lexus’ Global Head of Marketing. “The Lexus Electrified Sport, Reddy’s interpretation of it, and these award-winning ideas all represent forward-looking design and express our ongoing commitment to craftsmanship and sustainability.”
Situated inside Superstudio, the site-specific installation invites guests to discover a to-scale interpretation of the Lexus Electrified Sport after traveling through an enveloping forest of its composite shapes, which are suspended from the ceiling. These organic and textured leaflike forms―produced in varying heights in a vibrant shade of green―subtly call to mind the cutouts of Henri Matisse. Comprised in part of post-consumer materials, the sculptural steel and aluminum elements are punctuated by dappled light, creating an environment that invites deep absorption and evokes the natural world. An accompanying soundscape, which draws inspiration from the wind, brings visitors further into harmony with nature.
“I am excited to partner with Lexus―a brand committed to uplifting artists and designers―on a new iteration of Shaped by Air. This immersive interpretation in Milan makes use of repetition, multisensory elements, and three-dimensionality to create an emotional environment that envelops the body like a car,” remarked Suchi Reddy.
Reflecting Lexus’ commitment to omotenashi―a concept encompassing both hospitality and mindfulness―the Superstudio space invites visitors to rest in an upstairs lounge, where they can observe Shaped by Air from a different vantage point. The lounge’s air is purified by Panasonic’s nanoeTM X, a technology that offers a healthier in-car atmosphere in Lexus models.
Digital audiences will have the opportunity to engage with Shaped by Air through a partnership with Diorama―a Milan and Paris-based digital creative agency. Diorama has imagined the installation as a metaverse experience that complements the physical installation but has a life of its own. This virtual extension is realized as a dynamic digital forest where users can explore an abstract natural world from a never-been-seen perspective, one filled with the rustling of leaves, sinuous currents of air, and diffusions of light. Additionally, Diorama has produced an augmented reality journey that visitors in Milan will be able to discover on-site through a custom Lexus Instagram filter.
In addition to Reddy’s installation and the lounge, the Superstudio exhibition includes final prototypes by the winners of the LEXUS DESIGN AWARD 2023, which invited designers to submit concepts that anticipate a challenge of the future, address that challenge with an innovative solution, and captivate the imagination with exceptional design, while seamlessly enhancing the happiness of all.
The LEXUS DESIGN AWARD 2023 winners express Lexus’ belief that design can create the change we want in the world. Now in its eleventh year, the award celebrates up-and-coming creative talent from across the globe. A world-class panel of judges―Paola Antonelli, Karim Rashid, and Simon Humphries―made their selections that best represent the theme of ‘Design for a Better Tomorrow.’
“We, as designers, have a unique responsibility to create answers to challenges, whether that is through innovative ideas, beautiful aesthetics, or any other method that could offer a better future. From this point of view, the winning ideas were a clear reminder of the power of design,” said Simon Humphries, Chief Branding Officer of Toyota Motor Corporation.
Leading up to Milan Design Week, four winners were given a unique opportunity to collaborate and share ideas with four world-class creators serving as this year’s LEXUS DESIGN AWARD Mentors: Marjan van Aubel, Joe Doucet, Yuri Suzuki, and Sumayya Vally.
The winners have evolved their prototypes significantly through the mentorship process, transforming them from already beautiful ideas to practical, scalable, and ambitious designs:
- Pavels Hedström (Sweden, based in Denmark), who presents Fog-X, a jacket that transforms into a shelter that catches fog and turns it into drinking water.
- Jiaming Liu (China), who presents Print Clay Humidifier, a 3D-printed non-electric humidifier made with recycled ceramic waste.
- Temporary Office, [Singapore (Vincent Lai) & Canada (Douglas Lee), based in USA], which presents Touch the Valley, a 3D topographic puzzle that helps the visually impaired learn about the physical environment through the sense of touch.
- Kyeongho Park & Yejin Heo (Republic of Korea), who present Zero Bag, a package that dissolves in water, acts as a detergent that can remove any chemicals from the products, and reduces unnecessary plastic waste.
“It was incredible to witness the hard work of the winners manifested in the work presented. I believe that each of the projects is poetically and pertinently posing meaningful and urgent questions about our present world. And bringing into being a more beautiful and responsible future,” added Sumayya Vally.
On view for the first time in Milan, visitors are invited to explore the final prototypes of the winners and learn about the journey and evolution of these compelling ideas through the three-month mentorship program. The LEXUS DESIGN AWARD 2023 also welcomes the public to participate in the Your Choice Award and cast a vote for a favorite idea that best represents ‘Design for a Better Tomorrow’ both in Milan and online here.
Since 2005, Lexus has been at the forefront of pioneering electrification in the luxury market. With the introduction of their next-generation Electrified Sport concept, Lexus continues to push the boundaries of technology and craft with an unwavering commitment to sustainability and a consideration for the evolving needs of transportation and lifestyles worldwide. In conversation with these LEXUS DESIGN AWARD winners, all of whom are addressing humans’ relationship to the natural world, Suchi Reddy’s public installation highlights the full potential of electrification and underscores Lexus’ vision for a future that is human-centered, carbon-neutral, and focused on craftsmanship and quality.