Design studio Formafantasma exhibits for Lexus at Milan Design Week

posted on Monday, 7th March 2016 by Steve May

Milan  Trade Show  Automotive 


Internationally acclaimed design studio Formafantasma has taken inspiration from Lexus’s design philosophy and technologies to produce an immersive exhibit at the heart of the luxury car maker’s presentation at Milan Design Week – the Salone del Mobile, at the Spazio Lexus, Torneria April 12- 17.

Intriguingly, the exhibit has been produced in collaboration with Michelin star-winning chef Yoji Tokuyoshi. The promise is a “multi-layered experience capturing the spirit of seamless anticipation that forms a central pillar of Lexus design, and of Omontenashi, the traditions of Japanese hospitality.” It also interprets the essence of Lexus’s innovative new hydrogen fuel cell technology, as featured in its new LF-FC limousine concept.

FF-and -LFFC Crop

Formafantasma’s Amsterdam-based Italian designers Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farrasin (pictured above) travelled to Japan to witness Lexus’s design and manufacturing techniques first-hand. “The wonderful quality of Japanese hospitality is what really impressed us and the part of Japan we love most,” they comment. “Our aim is to express the kindness, hospitality and craftsmanship of Omotenashi in the right way through our installation, and also to capture something of the impressive car production methods which were introduced to.”

The first room in the installation feature new furniture pieces created by Formafantasma using the same painting and hand-finishing processes Lexus used to achieve the finish of the LF-FC concept car.

The duo says they were inspired by the painting process employed by Lexus. “The colours are beautiful and their depth is impressive… the fact the parts of the car you can’t see are treated in just the same way as those you can. These might be details, but they are beautiful and highly attractive qualities.”

In the second room, visitors will be introduced to an unexpected re-shaping of the LF-FC’s exterior design. The final room in the sequence will contain a new kinetic sculpture, inspired by the hydrogen atom and powered by an application of the fuel cell technology used by automobile maker.

The journey through the installation will be accompanied by new tasting experiences, created by Yoji Tokuyoshi, inspired by the clear water that is the direct by-product of hydrogen fuel cell power generation.

“At first we questioned why a car company would approach us,” said Formafantasma, “because we thought they did things in a very different way from us. But when we were able to see the value they attach to production and design, the more we understood the company and realised the things we have in common.”

Lexus’s Milan Design Week presentation will also include a showcase for the work of the 12 finalists in this year’s Lexus Design Award, including prototypes produced by the four leading entries, developed with mentorship from world-renowned designers.


Steve May

Inside ID Editor Steve May is a freelance lifestyle and technology journalist, who also writes for T3, AskMen UK, MTV UK, TechRadar and Trusted Reviews.

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