Lexus chose to display an art exhibition, installation and design award winning works at the Museo della Permanente last week, coinciding with the events of the 2013 Milan Design Week, aka the Salone del Mobile.
Entitled ‘Amazing Flow’ the main feature of the exhibition was a massive installation created by up-and-coming Japanese designer Akihisa Hirata under the supervision of architect and Lexus Design Award jury member Toyo Ito. Both artists won the ‘Golden Lion’ award for the Japan Pavilion at the 13th Venice Biennale International Architecture Exhibition last year.
The ‘Amazing Flow’ sculpture created by Hirata is made up of pieces of ash draped over an aluminium structure. It is meant to showcase how people, cars, wind and water interact as a single entity and demonstrate new ways of living and moving. The installation used 100 square metres of wood to clad and took five months to build. Its ultimate point is two-fold: to help create an exhibition of ‘unexpected encounters’ but also to potentially inspire future Lexus car design.
The art installation showcased the works of 12 entrants working in different design disciplines and mediums. It combines the Lexus design philosophy with the latest trends in contemporary art, architecture and design elements from Japan.
The design competition and exhibition were “part of a coordinated effort to further reinforce the image of Lexus as a truly global premium car brand that has design at its core,” says Director of Lexus Europe, Paul van der Burgh.
The Lexus exhibition exemplifies the reason car companies are flocking to these previously peripheral events. With a sculpture or an installation carmakers are able to drum up interest and stack up column inches for recent products in publications that would normally have been off the radar. A presence at the event also enables them to become seen as connoisseurs of fine design, and capture the attention of members of this elitist club.
“Milan Design Week has grown in recent years from a furniture trade show into a world-class design exhibition,” says Van der Burgh. “In doing so, it has become a stage for designers and corporations from a wide variety of industries to showcase their designs and communicate their brand messages.”