Design plays a vital role in an automobile and carmakers make huge investments in design studios which create products that are appealing and ultimately contribute to the success of the model. Lexus, Toyota’s luxury division, has always made design one of its top priorities besides pushing the boundaries of technology and craftsmanship.
The dedication to design was celebrated at an event hosted recently by Akio Toyoda, President of Toyota Motor Corporation, in New York City. The event, called “Design Matters,” showcased Lexus’ commitment to design, both in its new products and in its global brand activities to an audience of established and aspiring members of the design community.
“This is part of the transformation of Lexus,” said Mark Templin, Executive Vice-President of Lexus International. “Lexus is expanding as a global company and we need to speak to a broad global audience. There’s no better way to do that than through design. Great design transcends cultures and doesn’t need any translation.”
Much of the focus on design for Lexus comes from the personal commitment of Akio Toyoda, grandson of the founder of Toyota. “I am very passionate about cars, and especially design,” he said Toyoda. “To me, cars need to ignite all your senses, and one of the most important is the emotional connection you get when you see a beautiful car.”
Concept vehicles from Lexus, such as the LF-LC hybrid 2+2 coupe concept and the LF-CC concept car epitomise the design commitment by the company which is also reflected in its production models. Beyond its products, Lexus is supporting international design through a variety of initiatives around the globe such as INTERSECT BY LEXUS and CRAFTED FOR LEXUS.
INTERSECT BY LEXUS is a unique space in selected global cities where people can experience Lexus without getting behind a steering wheel. Neither a dealership, nor a traditional retail space, guests will be able to engage with Lexus through design, art, fashion, culture, movies, music and technology. The architectural space (artist’s impressions shown above) will be developed by Masamichi Katayama, the world-renowned interior designer and founder of the interior design firm Wonderwall. The first INTERSECT BY LEXUS will open in Aoyama, Tokyo, in mid-2013, followed by locations in New York City and Dubai. Within the space, Lexus will display exclusive retail items called “CRAFTED FOR LEXUS.” Lexus commissioned Japanese artists to create unique pieces that are inspired by the brand’s philosophy: traditional craftsmanship with timeless beauty and innovative form and function.
The LEXUS DESIGN AWARD is a competition to inspire the next generation of designers. Entrants demonstrate their creativity and are recognized for their accomplishments. This prestigious award was announced in Tokyo with the top two winners earning the opportunity to work with mentors Sam Hecht and Junya Ishigami. Their works were displayed at Museo della Permanente in Milan, Italy, during Milan Design Week.
Lexus has also collaborated with The Weinstein Company to support emerging directors from around the globe, commissioning them to bring wonderful stories to life as short films. The stories are beautifully told and explore the theme that “Life is Amazing”.
They will debut at various film events around the world and will be featured on the Lexus global website www.lexusshortfilms.com later this year. Lexus and The Weinstein Company will hold the world premiere event at the 2013 Festival de Cannes next month.
A new lifestyle magazine, BEYOND BY LEXUS, will feature Lexus vehicle information as well as stories on travel, architecture, art and design from a global and regional perspective. The magazine will be published twice yearly and translated into numerous languages around the world. The magazine recently debuted and will be available on www.lexus-int.com from May 1, 2013.
This Wednesday, Lexus will launch a global advertising campaign with the theme “Amazing in Motion.” Featured in the campaign are spectacular larger-than-life human figures. High-technology 3D printing was combined with fine craftsmanship to create the figures. Lexus materials, including bamboo and walnut found in the interiors of Lexus cars, as well as Lexus exterior paint, were used to construct the figures. Thanks to advanced technology and smooth artistry of puppeteers, the figures come to life on a grand scale.
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