Lexus partnered with acclaimed New York-based artist and architect designer Suchi Reddy, founder of Reddymade Architecture and Design, to develop a series of art installations for Miami Art & Design Week, Intersect By Lexus (IBL Tokyo) and Milan Design Week, with the aim to promote Lexus’ Electrified vision for a more sustainable future.
Ahead of Milan Design Week, where Lexus and Suchi unveiled the new installation, the Shaped by Air installation from Miami was on view at IBL Tokyo in a new configuration.
Responding to an overarching theme – shaping the future – 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 was re-imagined for Milan Design Week as a multisensory experience through which visitors can travel. Reddy’s ethereal installation celebrates the collaborators’ shared commitment to human-centred, carbon-neutral, and impeccably crafted design.
‘We were thrilled to continue our collaboration with Suchi Reddy in Milan, a place that has inspired so much ground-breaking creativity. We hope that by situating her human-centred approach to design in dialogue with the innovation of our LEXUS DESIGN AWARD 2023 winners, we inspired 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 invited guests to discover a to-scale interpretation of the Lexus Electrified Sport after travelling through an enveloping forest of its composite shapes, which are suspended from the ceiling. These organic and textured leaf-like forms – produced in varying heights in a vibrant shade of green – subtly call to mind the cut outs of Henri Matisse. Comprised in part of post-consumer materials, the sculptural steel and aluminium elements were punctuated by dappled light, creating an environment that invited deep absorption in evoking the natural world.
An accompanying soundscape drew inspiration from the wind, brings visitors further into harmony with nature. ‘I was excited to partner with Lexus – a brand committed to uplifting artists and designers – on a new iteration of Shaped by Air. The immersive interpretation in Milan made 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 invited visitors to rest in an upstairs lounge, where they observed Shaped by Air from a different vantage point. The lounge’s air was purified by Panasonic’s nanoeTM X, a technology that offers a healthier in-car atmosphere in Lexus models.
Digital audiences had the opportunity to engage with Shaped by Air through a partnership with Diorama – a Milan and Paris-based digital creative agency. Diorama imagined the installation as a metaverse experience that complements the physical installation, but has a life of its own. This virtual extension was realised 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.