Lexus has unveiled its Lexus: Sparks of Tomorrow exhibit at Milan Design Week 2022, showcasing the brand’s design philosophy and exemplifying Lexus’s commitment to sustainability.
This year’s exhibit presents a trio of design explorations, each inspired by the brand’s human-centred, future-oriented approach to design. This includes an immersive installation by award-winning architect and designer Germane Barnes with lighting studio Aqua Creations; new prototypes from Lexus Design Award 2022 finalists; and radical new sustainable transport concepts by students at London’s Royal College of Art.
Brian Bolain, Lexus’s global head of marketing, commented: “We are excited to return to Milan Design Week with an incredible array of projects that highlight next generation design and our commitment at Lexus to forging a path towards a carbon-neutral future through technology, craftsmanship, and innovation. We are especially thrilled to be able to present the work of the Lexus Design Award 2022 finalists and Royal College of Arts students in the context of Germane Barnes’s ON/ installation, in its second iteration here with lighting design studio Aqua Creations. As Milan Design Week opens, we look forward to seeing how the public engages with the Lexus presentation, and makes our vision for the future their own.”
Developed in partnership with Lexus and Germane Barnes, the ON/ installation presents a vision for an electrified, carbon-neutral and human-centred future. The display showcases the Lexus RZ, the first Lexus dedicated battery-electric model. Rendered in a suspended wire frame, this interpretation of the vehicle embodies Lexus’s vision of a more sustainable future coming into focus, embracing the ideas of electrification, technology, and bespoke design. The RZ is illuminated by Aqua Creations’ Code 130° silk collection of colourful pendant lights, which add a material quality to the immersive installation, illustrating the Lexus vision of a carbon-neutral future becoming a reality. The installation is accompanied by a lounge area featuring the new ToTeM lighting collection by Aqua Creations.
“It is thrilling to revisit the ON/ installation with Lexus and bring the display to Milan,” said Germane Barnes, principal of Studio Barnes. “The original ON/ exhibit featured the LF-Z, a concept car that signalled a move toward carbon neutrality. Now, with the RZ, we explored the evolution from concept to reality, partnering with Aqua Creations to create an environment that is infused with heightened sense of materiality. Designing for a future that is collaborative, sustainable, equitable, and prioritises the unique experiences of individuals is both a driving force of my practice and an exciting synergy with the designers showcased across Sparks of Tomorrow.”
Visitors can also explore the work of the six finalists in the Lexus Design Award 2022. They were chosen by a panel of design luminaries for their original solutions for contributing to a better tomorrow, concepts that articulate the Lexus brand’s three core principles – Anticipate, Innovate, and Captivate – while seamlessly enhancing the happiness of all. The finalists spent three months developing their original proposals and creating prototypes, guided by a team of highly skilled mentors This mentorship is a key feature of the award and rewards the finalists with a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Lexus’s presentation also includes work by students presenting radical new luxury transport concepts in a creative programme commissioned by Lexus, 2040: The Soul of Future Premium for the Royal College of Art in London. The project challenged postgraduate students at the college’s Intelligent Mobility Design Centre (IMDC) to explore new vehicle architectures to meet changes in European city life and society and to re-imagine the role Lexus might play as a luxury mobility brand. The six-month programme included mentoring and assessment sessions with Ian Cartabiano and Lance Scott, respectively President and Senior Manager at Lexus’s European design studio, ED2, together with Prof Dale Harrow, Chair of the IMDC, and Dr Chris Thorpe, the RCA’s Intelligent Mobility Head of Programme.
Lexus exhibit dates and opening hours:
6-12 June, 11:00 – 21:00
Superstudio Più (Art Point)
Via Tortona, 27 20144 – Milano, Italy
• ON/ installation created by Germane Barnes with Aqua Creations
• Designs by the six finalists in the Lexus Design Award 2022
• Designs by students at the Royal College of Art (RCA) in London
About Germane Barnes
Germane Barnes is the director of Studio Barnes and Associate Professor at the University of Miami School of Architecture. Barnes’s 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 communal process, he approaches each condition imposed on a project as an opportunity for transformation.
Barnes was a winner of the 2021 United States Artists Fellowship, 2021 Wheelwright Prize, 2021 Architectural League Prize for Young Architects and Designers, and is a 2021-2022 Rome Prize Fellow at the American Academy in Rome.