Lexus and Aqua Creations heralded next-gen electric mobility at Milan Design Week

At Superstudio Più, Lexus: Sparks of Tomorrow was an immersive showcase featuring a wireframe model of the Lexus RZ electric car alongside Aqua Creations’ lighting fixtures.

by STIRworldPublished on : Jul 09, 2022

As the global automotive industry begins to place greater emphasis on the notion of sustainable design along with a shift towards electrification, especially in light of diminishing resources and rising fuel prices, the time is ripe for the next revolution in automobile design. On this note, a new addition to the future of electric mobility was heralded through an ethereal spectacle as part ofTortona Design Week during Milan Design Week 2022, featuring an immersive experience by Lexus in association with lighting design studio Aqua Creations. Lexus: Sparks of Tomorrow, was on view from 6 -12 June at Superstudio Più in Milan, Italy, and depicted Lexus’ idea of an electrified future through a booth featuring an immersive installation conceptualised and realised by American architect and designer Germane Barnes of Studio Barnes, in association with Albi Serfaty - Founder and Creative Director of Aqua Creations. Pairing a wireframe model of the upcoming Lexus RZ electric car with Aqua Creations’ Code 130° collection of lighting fixtures, the showcase is a partial reprise of Barnes’ ON/ installation for the Lexus LF-Z Electrified Concept car at Design Miami 2021. 

  • Showcased at Superstudio Più as part of Fuorisalone this year, the booth depicted Lexus’ idea of an electrified future | Aqua Creations + Lexus: Sparks of Tomorrow | Lexus, Aqua Creations, and Germane Barnes | STIRworld
    Showcased at Superstudio Più as part of Fuorisalone this year, the booth depicted Lexus’ idea of an electrified future Image: Claudio Lavenia
  • An immersive installation developed by Germane Barnes alongside Albi Serfaty of Aqua Creations featured a wireframe sculpture of the Lexus RZ | Aqua Creations + Lexus: Sparks of Tomorrow | Lexus, Aqua Creations, and Germane Barnes | STIRworld
    An immersive installation developed by Germane Barnes alongside Albi Serfaty of Aqua Creations featured a wireframe sculpture of the Lexus RZ Image: Claudio Lavenia

Touted as a representation of the company’s move towards carbon neutrality, the Lexus RZ is the company’s first battery-powered electric vehicle, whose bold design features have been rendered in steel and aluminium and suspended inches above the ground. Appearing to hover over a transparent pool of water, the installation is a powerful exhibition of the car’s sleek profile, which is a manifestation of Lexus’ ambition to embrace electrification, technology, and bespoke design in its drive for a more sustainable future. The wireframe sculpture was accompanied by the varicoloured silk pendant lights of Aqua Creations’ Code 130° range - which resemble fragile lanterns softly illuminating the space, imparting a playful touch of exuberance to the ensemble. A lounge space was also incorporated into the booth’s design, illuminated by Aqua Creations’ ToTeM Family of lights, debuting for the first time.

  • The Lexus RZ will be the first battery-powered electric vehicle in the company’s lineup on its release | Aqua Creations + Lexus: Sparks of Tomorrow | Lexus, Aqua Creations, and Germane Barnes | STIRworld
    The Lexus RZ will be the first battery-powered electric vehicle in the company’s lineup on its release Image: Claudio Lavenia
  • Accompanied by Aqua Creations’ Code 130° range of lights, the installation was a powerful statement of Lexus’ ideals | Aqua Creations + Lexus: Sparks of Tomorrow | Lexus, Aqua Creations, and Germane Barnes | STIRworld
    Accompanied by Aqua Creations’ Code 130° range of lights, the installation was a powerful statement of Lexus’ ideals Image: Claudio Lavenia

Germane Barnes, principal of Studio Barnes mentions in a press statement, “It was thrilling to revisit the ON/ installation with Lexus and bring the display to Milan. 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 was infused with a heightened sense of materiality.” He continues, “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.”

The sculpture was suspended inches above the ground to create an ethereal spectacle | Aqua Creations + Lexus: Sparks of Tomorrow | Lexus, Aqua Creations, and Germane Barnes | STIRworld
The sculpture was suspended inches above the ground to create an ethereal spectacle Image: Claudio Lavenia

Besides the main showcase, the Lexus: Sparks of Tomorrow booth also highlighted the achievements of the six finalists of the LEXUS DESIGN AWARD 2022. Honouring promising creative talent from across the world whose innovative ideas could pave the way for a better tomorrow in accordance with Lexus’s core brand principles “Anticipate, Innovate, Captivate,” the design awards are now in their 10th edition. This year’s finalists included: Charlotte Böhning and Mary Lempres (Dual USA - Germany and Dual USA - Norway /Based in USA), Wondaleaf (Malaysia), Team Dunamis (Nigeria), Poh Yun Ru (Singapore), Kristil and Shamina (Russia), and Kou Mikuni (Japan).

Germane Barnes of Studio Barnes | Aqua Creations + Lexus: Sparks of Tomorrow | Lexus, Aqua Creations, and Germane Barnes | STIRworld
Germane Barnes of Studio Barnes Image: Claudio Lavenia

Selected from a pool of 1,726 entries originating from 57 countries, the finalists will be given the opportunity to develop prototypes for their ideas under the mentorship of four prominent creative stars, including Sam Baron, Joe Doucet, Sabine Marcelis, and Yosuke Hayano. Finally, the Grand Prix winning project this year - Rewind by Poh Yun Ru - was chosen by a team of esteemed panellists such as Paola Antonelli, Anupama Kundoo, Bruce Mau, and Simon Humphries.

Albi Serfaty, Founder and Creative Director of Aqua Creations | Aqua Creations + Lexus: Sparks of Tomorrow | Lexus, Aqua Creations, and Germane Barnes | STIRworld
Albi Serfaty, Founder and Creative Director of Aqua Creations Image: Claudio Lavenia

In addition, the exhibition presented groundbreaking radical new luxury transport concepts as envisioned by students from the Royal College of Art in London, UK, who developed these ideas for a programme conducted by Lexus titled 2040: The Soul of Future Premium. The programme itself was targeted toward postgraduate students at the college’s Intelligent Mobility Design Centre (IMDC), inviting them to “explore new vehicle architectures to meet changes in European city life and society, re-imagining the role Lexus might play as a luxury mobility brand.”

  • Aqua Creations’ Code 130° pendant lights have billowing feature delicate forms rendered in silk | Aqua Creations + Lexus: Sparks of Tomorrow | Lexus, Aqua Creations, and Germane Barnes | STIRworld
    Aqua Creations’ Code 130° pendant lights have billowing forms rendered in silk Image: Courtesy of Aqua Creations
  • The designs resemble delicate lanterns that softly illuminated the space | Aqua Creations + Lexus: Sparks of Tomorrow | Lexus, Aqua Creations, and Germane Barnes | STIRworld
    The designs resemble delicate lanterns that softly illuminated the space Image: Courtesy of Aqua Creations

With its multifaceted programme that casts a spotlight on exceptional design, Lexus: Sparks of Tomorrow was a dazzling representation of the brand’s design philosophy, emphasising values pertaining to innovation and craftsmanship, that made a dramatic statement spelling out Lexus’ vision for a cleaner, greener, and more cutting-edge future.

  • A lounge space adjacent to the installation featured Aqua Creations’ ToTeM Family of lights | Aqua Creations + Lexus: Sparks of Tomorrow | Lexus, Aqua Creations, and Germane Barnes | STIRworld
    A lounge space adjacent to the installation featured Aqua Creations’ ToTeM Family of lights Image: Courtesy of Aqua Creations
  • To, Te and M Pendant Lights | Aqua Creations + Lexus: Sparks of Tomorrow | Lexus, Aqua Creations, and Germane Barnes | STIRworld
    To, Te and M Pendant Lights Image: Courtesy of Aqua Creations

STIR takes you on a Milanese sojourn! Experience Salone del Mobile and all the design districts - 5vie, Brera, Fuorisalone, Isola, Zona Tortona, and Durini - with us. STIR’s coverage of Milan Design Week 2022, Meanwhile in Milan showcases the best exhibits, moods, studios, events, and folks to look out for. We are also excited to announce our very own STIR press booth at Salone del Mobile - Hall 5/7 S.14, Fiera Milano RHO.

What do you think?

About Author

Recommended

LOAD MORE
see more articles
4077,4088,3997,4002,3890

Keep it stirring

get regular updates SIGN UP

This site uses cookies to offer you an improved and personalised experience. If you continue to browse, we will assume your consent for the same.
LEARN MORE AGREE