Suchi Reddy designs Ethereal Lexus installation

“Design always starts with context,” says Suchi Reddy, the architect behind Lexus’ installation at this year’s Design Miami. For the occasion, she has created a piece that celebrates the shapes and forms found on the Lexus Electrified Sport. It’s a slightly different type of assignment for Reddy, whose practice “Reddymade” is behind many large-scale projects across the US, but this time the relevant design context comes in the form of a museum sculpture garden.

Since the studio was founded in 2002, Reddy and her team have become known for combining architecture with neuroaesthetics and investigating how the built environment affects well-being. Her collaboration with Lexus offers an extension of this ethos, with its ethereal qualities designed to create a multi-sensory experience.

Reddy’s installation, called “Shaped by Air”, is in place at Miami’s Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA). Its carved form abstracts the form of the vehicle, to the point where individual elements appear as sculptures in their own right. Mist and light bring the piece to life, while organic, leaf-like shapes in a vibrant shade of green call to nature while referencing the work of Henri Matisse. Part of the installation is made from post-consumer materials, and most of the structure consists of steel and aluminium. Despite both the design and material composition being solid – the addition of the fog creates a sense of movement and levitation, with natural light casting shadows over the surrounding sculpture garden.

For Reddy, it was a big bonus that the play was not confined to a tent. “I went about designing this in a similar way that I would do an architectural project,” she says. “It starts with a context – and in this case I was very excited that it was in the ICA.” Lexus gave Reddy some conceptual stepping stones and discussed with her the things they are most focused on at the moment. “They talked about carbon neutrality, commitment to the environment, hospitality and personal luxury – and asked me to think about how I could represent these things through my own lens.”

In addition to the installation, and to encourage a moment’s attention, the garden has been decorated with benches made of eco-terrazzo. These too have been informed about the shape of the electrified sports vehicle, but also include a much-needed solar-powered charging station. “The garden has a lot of stone sculptures that needed room to breathe, so it couldn’t be anything solid as that would deflate everything. I had to think about dematerializing a solid object,” adds Reddy.

The Shaped by Air installation will be on display at the ICA for the next few weeks. Elsewhere in the city, check out the best things to see this Design Miami.

ICA Miami
61 NE 41st St
Miami, FL 33137

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