Prepare for An Encounter with Anticipation at Milan Design Week

17 March 2016

Formafantasma interprets Lexus design, craftsmanship and technology for new installation at the world’s largest design exhibition

  • Formafantasma creates major new installation as the centrepiece of Lexus’s presentation at the 2016 Milan Design Week (Salone del Mobile)
  • Lexus – An Encounter with Anticipation interprets core elements of the brand’s design philosophy and the craftsmanship processes applied in the manufacture of its luxury models
  • Focus on the influence of Omotenashi, the traditions of Japanese hospitality, and the styling and technical qualities of Lexus’s new hydrogen fuel cell limousine concept, the LF-FC
  • The experience will include new culinary designs from Michelin-starred chef Yoji Tokuyoshi, inspired by the natural relationship between hydrogen and water in Lexus’ fuel cell system

The internationally acclaimed design studio Formafantasma has taken inspiration from Lexus’s design philosophy, craftsmanship and advanced technologies to produce an immersive exhibit that will form the centrepiece of the luxury car maker’s presentation at Milan Design Week – the Salone del Mobile – in April.

Lexus – An Encounter with Anticipation will be hosted during the world’s largest design exhibition at the Spazio Lexus – Torneria from 12 to 17 April, with a media preview on 11 April.

Produced in a unique collaboration with Michelin star-winning chef Yoji Tokuyoshi,  it will provide a multi-layered experience capturing the spirit of seamless anticipation that forms a central pillar of Lexus design, and of Omontenashi, the traditions of Japanese hospitality that are intrinsic to the way Lexus creates vehicles that address their owners’ every need. It will also interpret the essence of Lexus’s ground-breaking hydrogen fuel cell technology, as showcased in its new LF-FC limousine concept.

Formafantasma’s Amsterdam-based Italian designers Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farrasin travelled to Japan to witness Lexus’s design and manufacturing techniques first-hand and to learn about the qualities and values that define the brand. Their experiences have directly influenced the design of their exhibit, which is divided into three distinct spaces.

They said: “The wonderful quality of Japanese hospitality is what really impressed us and the part of Japan we love most. Our aim is to express the kindness, hospitality and craftsmanship of Omotenashi in the right way through our installation, and also to capture something of the impressive car production methods which were introduced to.”

The first room in the installation will feature new furniture pieces created by Formafantasma using the same painting and hand-finishing processes Lexus used to achieve the flawless finish of its LF-FC concept car.

“We were greatly inspired by Lexus’s painting process, and the fact the parts of the car you can’t see are treated in just the same way as those you can. The colours are beautiful and their depth is impressive. These might be details, but they are beautiful and highly attractive qualities,” said Formafantasma.

Moving into the second room, visitors will be introduced to an unexpected re-shaping of the LF-FC’s exterior design, conceived as a tribute to the Lexus design team’s constant search for perfection and anticipation of future mobility.

“At first we questioned why a car company would approach us,” said Formafantasma, “because we thought they did things in a very different way from us. But when we were able to see the value they attach to production and design, the more we understood the company and realised the things we have in common.”

The final room in the sequence will contain a new kinetic sculpture, inspired by the hydrogen atom and powered by an application of the fuel cell technology used by Lexus in the LF-FC.

Formafantasma explained: “What we wanted to do was to bring together the forward-looking spirit of anticipation that is central to what design is about and reflect a desire shared with Lexus to create products that are both aesthetically beautiful and sustainable.”

The journey through the installation will be accompanied by new tasting experiences, created by Yoji Tokuyoshi, inspired by the clear water that is the direct by-product of hydrogen fuel cell power generation.

Lexus’s Milan Design Week presentation will also include a showcase for the work of the 12 finalists in this year’s Lexus Design Award, including prototypes produced by the four leading entries, developed with mentorship from world-renowned designers.


Notes to editors: –

More information and pictures can be found at:
Lexus – An Encounter with Anticipation:
Lexus Design Award website:
Instagram:   @lexusdesignaward
Official hashtags: #MilanDesignWeek; #LDAnticipate; #LexusDesignEvent;  #LDEncounters


Formafantasma – Designer

Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin, Italian designers based in Amsterdam, are Formafantasma, an innovative design team whose work is characterised by its investigation of experimental materials. Formafantasma explores the relationship between traditional and local culture, critical approaches to sustainability and the significance of objects as cultural conduits.

Bridging craft, industry, object and user, the designers have forged links between their research-based practice and a wider design industry, and have received commissions from a wide range of renowned fashion and retail brands. Their work has also been published internationally and been acquired for the permanent collections of major museums, including MoMA in New York and London’s Victoria and Albert Museum.

Yoji Tokuyoshi – Chef

Yoji Tokuyoshi is recognised as one of Milan’s most innovative chefs.  During almost a decade at Osteria Francescana under the tutelage of Chef Massimo Bottura, Tokuyoshi rapidly rose to the position of sous chef and helped the celebrated restaurant earn its second and third Michelin stars.  Setting out on his own in early 2014 he established his own restaurant in Milan featuring uniquely re-interpreted Italian cuisine that Tokuyoshi termed “Cucina Italiana Contaminata”.  In just 10 months the new restaurant was awarded a Michelin star.  With technique and creativity, Tokuyoshi offers an entirely new dining experience that serves very personal food to each individual diner.


Milan Design Week, the Salone del Mobile, is the world’s largest design exhibition. It features numerous events, including furniture, fashion and the work of many world-renowned brands. In 2015 the Lexus – A Journey of the Senses exhibit earned high acclaim and received the “Most Entertaining” honour in the Milano Design Awards competition.

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Prepare for An Encounter with Anticipation at Milan Design Week


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