“Design always starts with context,” says Suchi Reddy, the architect behind Lexus’ installation at this year’s Design Miami. For the occasion, she created a piece that pays homage to the shapes and forms found on the Lexus Electrified Sport. It’s a slightly different kind of commission for Reddy, whose “Reddymade” practice is behind many large-scale projects across the United States, but this time the design context in question comes in the form of a museum sculpture garden.
Since founding the studio in 2002, Reddy and his team have become known for combining architecture with neuroaesthetics and examining how the built environment affects well-being. Its collaboration with Lexus offers an extension of this philosophy, with its ethereal qualities designed to induce a multi-sensory experience.
Titled “Shaped by Air,” Reddy’s installation is on display at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) in Miami. Its cut-out form abstracts the shape of the vehicle, to a point where the individual elements appear as sculptures in their own right. Mist and light bring the work to life, while organic leaf-like shapes in a vibrant green hue appeal to nature while referencing the work of Henri Matisse. A portion of the facility was fabricated from post-consumer materials, with the majority of the structure comprised of steel and aluminum. Although the design and material composition is solid, the addition of the mist creates a sense of movement and levitation, with the natural light casting shadows on the surrounding sculpture garden.
For Reddy, the fact that the room was not confined within the confines of a tent was a major plus. “I started designing this in a similar way to how I would do an architectural project,” she says. “It starts with context – and in this case, I was super excited that it was in the ICA.” Lexus provided Reddy with some concept springboards and chatted with her about the things they’re most focused on right now. “They talked about carbon neutrality, commitment to the environment, hospitality and personal luxury – and asked me to think about how I might represent these things through my own lens.”
In addition to the installation, and to promote a moment of mindfulness, the gardens have been decorated with eco-terrazzo benches. These have also been informed by the shape of the Electrified Sport vehicle, but also encompass a much-needed solar-powered charging station. “The garden has a lot of stone sculptures that needed space to breathe, so it couldn’t be something solid because it would clutter everything. I had to think about dematerializing a solid object,” adds Reddy.
The Shaped by Air installation will be presented at the ICA in the coming weeks. Elsewhere in town, check out the best things to see this Design Miami.
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