December 15, 2022
Suchi Reddy’s Collaboration with Lexus Is Shaped by the Elements
While the site-specific installation, Shaped by Air, took only three months to design and construct (and came down on December 11), it made a lasting impression. Sitting in dialog with monumental sculptures by Pedro Reyes and artist duo Allora & Calzadilla, the installation evoked Lexus’s commitment to omotenashi, a Japanese concept that encompasses elements of both hospitality and mindfulness. “In the midst of these stone sculptures, I wanted to make something really ethereal,” Reddy explains.
Inspired by the sinuous curves and craftsmanship of the Lexus Electrified Sport, designed by Alex Shen, chief designer and studio resource manager at Calty Design Research, Reddy abstracted the forms of the vehicle, creating dynamic car-like shapes and Henri Matisse-inspired foliage cut-outs of powder-coated, post-consumer metal placed atop a reflective plinth. Both the materials of the abstracted forms and the foliage interact with artificial and natural light throughout the day, creating an entrancing effect of movement, despite the sculpture itself remaining still.
“It was such an incredible opportunity to be able to place it outside, to really watch it move with the forces of nature.” As the Florida breeze blows through the ICA’s sculpture garden, the installation takes many shapes. When it comes to the design of the car itself, this notion also inspires Shen. He says, “Aerodynamics is really important, since the car was initially shape by wind as well.”
The installation also invites garden visitors to rest on benches made of eco-terrazzo as they view the sculpture. The shape of the benches is inspired by the tail of the Electrified Sport and include solar-activated wireless charging stations, choices that align with Reddy’s human-centered and carbon-conscious design ethos. Reddy says, “I’m always thinking about what an environment does to us and what do we do to it, and so the sculpture really became about melding two together.”
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