LEXUS UNVEILS ‘SHAPED BY AIR’ AND LEXUS DESIGN AWARD WINNERS’ WORKS AT MILAN DESIGN WEEK
- New installation by Suchi Reddy, ‘Shaped by Air,’ inspired by the Lexus Electrified Sport
- Now on public view at Superstudio Più in Milan together with prototypes created by the four winners of the Lexus Design Award 2023
- Installation and Lexus Design Award share overarching theme of shaping the future
- Online visitors can experience ‘Shaped by Air’ in a digital interpretation created by Diorama
- New ‘Your Choice Award’ allows in-person and virtual visitors to vote for the Lexus Design Award prototype they feel best captures the spirit of ‘Design for a Better Tomorrow’
Lexus has today unveiled ‘Shaped by Air,’ an installation by the acclaimed New York-based artist and architect Suchi Reddy, the founder of Reddymade Architecture and Design. The work is being presented alongside the prototypes produced by the four winners of the Lexus Design Award 2023 in a public exhibition taking place at Milan’s Superstudio space until April 23rd. Both the installation and the Lexus Design Award express an overarching theme of shaping the future.
The presentation is the latest in a series of compelling, immersive visitor experiences Lexus has brought to Milan Design Week, partnering with visionary creatives including Philippe Nigro, Neri Oxman, Sou Fujimoto, Rhizomatics and Germane Barnes, among others. Reddy’s ‘Shaped by Air’ maintains this tradition. Her work is inspired by the Lexus Electrified Sport, Lexus’ vision for a future all-electric sports coupe, and the quality it projects of being shaped by the air around it.
Reddy’s artwork was first presented at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Miami (ICA-Miami) during Miami Art & Design Week 2022. It has been reimagined for Milan Design Week as a multi-sensory experience which visitors can move through. The light and airy installation celebrates a commitment to human-centred, carbon-neutral and impeccably crafted design that is shared by both the artist and Lexus.
Brian Bolain, Lexus’ Global Head of Marketing, said: “We are thrilled to continue our collaboration with Suchi Reddy in Milan, a city that has inspired so much ground-breaking creativity. We hope that by placing her human-centred approach to design in dialogue with the innovation of our Lexus Design Award winners, we will inspire visitors to imagine new futures. The Lexus Electrified Sport and Reddy’s interpretation of it, together with these award-winning prototypes, represents forward-looking design and expresses our ongoing commitment to craftsmanship and sustainability.”
The site-specific installation inside Superstudio invites guests to discover a to-scale interpretation of the Lexus Electrified Sport after travelling through a forest-like collection of composite shapes, suspended from the ceiling. Set at varying heights and finished in a vibrant shade of green, these subtly call to mind the cut-outs of French painter Henri Matisse. The sculptural steel and aluminium elements are made partly from recycled or re-used consumer materials. Punctuated by dappled light, they create an absorbing environment that evokes the natural world. An accompanying soundscape inspired by the wind further helps bring visitors into harmony with nature.
Suchi Reddy commented: “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, multi-sensory elements and three-dimensionality to create an emotional environment that envelops the body like a car.”
Reflecting Lexus’ commitment to Omotenashi––a concept that encompasses 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 nanoe™ X, a technology that helps create a healthier in-car atmosphere in many Lexus models.
Digital audiences will be able 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 realised as a dynamic digital forest. Users can explore an abstract natural world from a completely new perspective, one that is filled with the rustling of leaves, currents of air and diffusions of light. Diorama has also produced an augmented reality journey that visitors to the Milan exhibition will be able to discover on-site, using a custom Lexus Instagram filter.
Lexus Design Award 2023 winners’ prototypes
Lexus’ exhibition also includes the final prototypes created by the winners of the Lexus Design Award 2023. The competition invited designers to submit concepts that anticipate the challenge of the future, address it with an innovative solution and captivate the imagination with exceptional design, while seamlessly enhancing the happiness of all.
The works express Lexus’ belief that design has the power to deliver positive change. Now in its 11th year, the award celebrates up-and-coming talent from around the world. The panel of judges – Paola Antonelli, Karim Rashid and Simon Humphries, all internationally respected figures in their creative fields – selected the concepts that best represented the theme of ‘Design for a Better Tomorrow’.
Simon Humphries, Toyota Motor Corporation Chief Branding Officer, said: “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’.”
Ahead of their showcase at Milan Design Week, the winners were given a unique opportunity to collaborate and share ideas with four world-class creators who served as this year’s Lexus Design Award mentors: Marjan van Aubel, Joe Doucet, Yuri Suzuki, and Sumayya Vally.
The winners have significantly evolved their prototypes through the mentorship process, transforming already beautiful ideas into practical, scalable and ambitious designs.
● Pavels Hedström (Sweden, based in Denmark), designer of Fog-X, a jacket that transforms into a tent/shelter and can catch fog that turns it into drinking water.
● Jiaming Liu (China), designer of Print Clay Humidifier, a sustainable, 3D-printed humidifier made with recycled ceramic waste.
● Temporary Office, [Singapore (Vincent Lai) and Canada (Douglas Lee), based in USA], designers of Touch the Valley, a 3D topographic puzzle that helps visually impaired people learn about the physical environment through touch.
● Kyeongho Park and Yejin Heo (Republic of Korea), designers of Zero Bag, a new clothing package that dissolves in water and contains a detergent that can remove chemicals from products while reducing plastic waste.
Sumayya Vally commented: “It was incredible to witness the winners’ hard work manifested in the work they 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 responsive future.”
The final prototypes are on view for the first time in Milan. Visitors are invited to explore the works and learn about how the concepts evolved through the mentorship process.
The Lexus Design Award also welcomes the public to take part in the Your Choice Award and vote for the idea they feel best represents ‘Design for a Better Tomorrow’. The voting is open to those visiting in-person and also online here.
Lexus has been at the forefront of pioneering electrification in the luxury market since 2005. With the presentation of the Lexus Electrified Sport, it continues to push the boundaries of technology and craftsmanship with an unwavering commitment to sustainability and a consideration for the evolving needs of transportation and lifestyles worldwide. Suchi Reddy’s installation highlights the potential of electrification and, together with the work of the Lexus Design Award winners, underscores Lexus’ vision for a future that is human-centred, carbon-neutral, and focused on craftsmanship and quality.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Press day: April 17th, 3 pm to 9 pm
Public days: April 18th to 22nd, 11 am to 9 pm and April 23rd, 11 am to 6 pm
Superstudio Più (Day Light)
Via Tortona, 27
20144 Milan, Italy
‘Shaped by Air’ installation by Suchi Reddy
Prototype works by the winners of the Lexus Design Award 2023
‘Shaped by Air’ Metaverse Experience : https://discoverlexus.com/stories/shaped-by-air-at-milan-design-week-2023/
Shaped by Air AR Filter: https://www.instagram.com/ar/1378144106301649/
Lexus Design Award ‘Your Choice Award’: http://lexusdesignaward.com/vote
ABOUT SUCHI REDDY
Suchi Reddy founded Reddymade in 2002 with an approach to design that privileges the emotional quality of human engagement with space. Guided by her mantra “form follows feeling,” Reddy’s architectural and artistic practice is informed by her research at the intersection of neuroscience and the arts. Working towards a larger idea of “design justice,” she is dedicated to expanding our notions of empathy, equity, and agency—where the importance of design is recognized as an asset for the benefit of all, not just for some.
Reddy teaches at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, and Cooper Union’s Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture. She was the 2022 Walton Critic at the Catholic University of America, and the Plym Distinguished Professor at the University of Illinois School of Architecture, Champaign–Urbana in 2019, where her work focused on contemporary architectural experience through the lens of neuroaesthetics, neurophenomenology, and sensory design.
She sits on the board of the Design Trust for Public Space, Storefront for Art and Architecture, and Madame Architect; and she is a member of the Dean’s Board of Advisors at Detroit Mercy School of Architecture + Community Development.
ABOUT THE LEXUS DESIGN AWARD 2023 WINNERS
Sweden, Based in Denmark
Pavels Hedström began his career as an architect after earning his Master of Architecture and Extreme Environments degree (architecture, design conservation) from the Royal Danish Academy. He explores how holistic approaches can be applied to existing ecosystems.
Fog-X is a jacket that transforms into a tent/shelter that catches fog and turns it into drinking water. Through the mentorship programme, Fog-X has evolved significantly – both transforming from a heavy backpack to a light jacket/shelter and adding the creation of a mobile app for easy access to find fog. The idea became a solution incorporated in an everyday object.
Jiaming Liu is an industrial designer who focuses on bringing fresh perspectives into people’s daily lives. He is currently exploring cross-cultural and sustainable design. He was born in China, where he completed his bachelor's degree, and recently graduated with a master's degree from Folkwang University of the Arts.
Print Clay Humidifier
Print Clay Humidifier is a 3D-printed humidifier made with recycled ceramic waste. After rounds of testing and prototyping with different materials and techniques, Jiaming landed on a 3D printing method and powdered ceramic (recycled from ceramic waste) that further improved water absorption efficiency. It is a non-electric, recycled and recyclable version of a common household device that is both functional and elegant.
Vincent Lai (Singapore), Douglas Lee (Canada)
Based in USA
Temporary Office is a design team of Vincent Lai and Douglas Lee, graduates from University of California, Berkeley. They have worked on projects crossing the boundaries of architecture, public space, preservation and product design. With a strong focus on historical research and precedent, Temporary Office seeks to constructively respond to the ever-changing needs of our environment in a rational yet playful way.
Touch the Valley
Touch the Valley is a 3D topographic puzzle that helps visually impaired people learn about the physical environment through the sense of touch. Taking feedback from user-testing, the puzzle’s playability was improved by the addition of small features, including magnet feedback, elevational grooves, and smoother edges – enabling people to enjoy immersing themselves in exploring and playing the puzzle without too much cognitive load.
Kyeongho Park & Yejin Heo
Republic of Korea
Kyeongho Park & Yejin Heo are students majoring in industrial design at Hanyang University's ERICA campus in the Republic of Korea. They are concerned about social and environmental problems and explore user-centred solutions through design.
Zero Bag is an eco-friendly packaging with paper detergent or baking soda film attached to an alginate water-soluble bag. Through the mentoring programme, Kyeongho and Yejin developed and articulated the potential use cases and target markets for this type of product. The idea for clothing packaging for the retail market evolved to include explorations for different industries, from clothes to food. The development process continues to evolve, as the designers embrace the myriad potential for their ideas.