Mon, Dec 6, 2021

Lexus unveils On at Design Miami

Lexus has unveiled ON/ at Design Miami/, presenting a vision that is inspired by the power and potential of Lexus’s LF-Z Electrified Concept car, which introduces new electrification principals to the brand’s ethos.

The immersive installation embodies the human-centered, future-oriented approach to design and craftsmanship that the automotive brand and Germane Barnes and his team at the University of Miami share, its title alluding to an on/off switch as a vision of a carbon-neutral future powered by electric technology.

ON/ creates an environment that is designed to engage viewers of all ages, providing an experience that is both visually dynamic and interactive while offering an inviting space to recharge and reflect.

The installation is centered around a precisely-to-scale, three-dimensional sculptural rendition of the LF-Z Electrified Concept car rendered in steel and illuminated with embedded LED lighting; the frame of the car glows and is suspended just above the ground, a vision of a more sustainable future coming into focus. Two swings anchor the display, each suspended within illuminated arches in a nod to the classical architecture that is both foundational to the design of civic infrastructure and central to the University of Miami’s curriculum, alluding to a gateway between our present and the possibilities of the future. This arch is echoed in furniture with embedded LED lighting designed by Barnes and his team specifically for the installation, providing discrete areas for rest, repose, and recharging -- reflecting the brand’s commitment to the principle of omotenashi (exceptional hospitality).

The entire installation is unified by a unique lighting scheme, designed to enable engagement from users around the world via an interactive virtual model unveiled online alongside the physical display. Participants are invited to create their own lighting designs for the display, altering the color of various features including the walls, car, swings, and furniture. Barnes and his team will select a series of user-generated designs to showcase onsite, spotlighting the creative vision of entries from around the world.

“As a global brand with a commitment to the Japanese design principles of takumi (expert craftsmanship) and omotenashi (exceptional hospitality) and a mission to build towards a carbon-neutral future, Lexus embodies elements that are essential markers of high-quality design for today, while also echoing my personal values. Designing for a future that is collaborative, sustainable, equitable, and prioritizes the unique experiences of individuals is both a driving force of my practice and my work with students here at the University of Miami. As Design Miami/ opens, we’re excited to see how the public engages with the installation, both in-person and online, and makes our vision for the future their own,” commented Germane Barnes, Assistant Professor at the University of Miami School of Architecture.

This concept reflects a commitment to next-generation design and was developed by Barnes, who is also the Principal Architect at Studio Barnes and Director of the CHIL Lab, in close coordination with his team at the University and Studio. The core project team included students Isabella Adelsohn, Mahlia Jenkins, and Andrea Martinez of the School of Architecture at the University of Miami, along with Indrit Alushani, Lecturer and RAD Lab Manager and Rodolphe el-Khoury, Dean of the University of Miami School of Architecture.

“We’re thrilled to bring this incredible project from Germane Barnes and the University of Miami to Design Miami/ in our fourth year of partnership with the fair,” commented Brian Bolain, Lexus’ global head of marketing. “As we look towards next-generation design, this project has given us a chance to highlight Lexus’ commitment to electrification while working closely with the students at UMiami who are incredibly talented and truly represent the future of design and innovation.”

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