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A solar sculpture for Lexus with Marjan van Aubel

To celebrate Lexus’ new Electric Vehicle Concept car, we collaborated with solar design studio Marjan van Aubel, finding common ground in a carbon-neutral future to create an installation in the sculpture garden of ICA Miami that will be on view throughout Miami Art & Design Week 2023.

“8 Minutes and 20 Seconds” – named after the time it takes for light to reach the earth – reimagines the car as an ever-changing glowing entity charged by the sun, responsive to its surroundings and the people in it.

The installation deconstructs the concept car into a static, self-illuminating 3D skeleton of itself fabricated out of organic transparent photovoltaic (OPV) sheets. In place of fuel, this version is powered by sunlight, generating its own movement through the different hues that play out across its different layers. Each solar cell is both transparent and rich with colour, allowing for a bright spectrum of light and patterns to build a sense of motion. Embracing the photovoltaic sheets as an explicit design choice, the installation also draws attention to the main feature of the car, its base. The EV Skateboard, where the engine is situated, is fitted with an LED panel that lights up, drawing our eyes to the car’s source of energy.

Designed to be explored from every angle, the sculpture is dynamic: a visitor’s perspective will change depending on where they are standing – and in response, the car will change too. The installation is fitted with motion sensors that respond to the presence of each visitor. As they walk by, the LED light panels are triggered causing a ripple that runs through the gradient hues as well as a soft soundscape of bamboo chimes, a nod to the presence of bamboo used as a material throughout the concept car.

Every 10 minutes this gentle sound reaches a crescendo and a choreographed light pattern plays out like a flash of movement. As in tune with its surroundings as it is with the visitors moving around it, the sculpture shifts in colour temperature in coordination with the natural circadian rhythms of its garden setting and its exposure to the sun.

Creative Concept, UX/CX Design, Experience Design, Art Direction, Spatial Design, Prototyping, Installation Engineering, Research
Marjan van Aubel Studio Matchless Builds Steve Benisty Photography

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