Jan 2016

Wallpaper* Design Awards

Limited edition cover by Patricia Urquiola and Konstantin Grcic

The art of driving by Lexus and Wallpaper*

Starting from the premise that there are parallels between car design and an art installation, in the way space, colour and form are manipulated, Lexus and Wallpaper* have teamed up with two visual artists to create a pair of one-off installations customized for the new Lexus IS 300h and IS 300h F SPORT

We asked artist Bahar Yurukoglu and architect Cristina Parreño to each create an installation to complement a series of projects - collectively titled 'Amazing in Motion' - commissioned by Lexus to explore innovation, design and creativity. Using the new Lexus models as canvases, the artists were encouraged to bring the cars' engineered grace to life by creating an art installation around them. Watch their works take shape in this behind-the-scenes film

Installation by Bahar Yurukoglu

A wizard with light and shapes, Washington-based Yurukoglu creates mesmerising visuals using Perspex, glass and projections. With an unerring eye for drama, she transforms large spaces into psychedelic, geometric light shows. Here we catch up with Yurukoglu…

Wallpaper*: Can you tell us about your installation?   
Bahar Yurukoglu: It’s in two parts, a video projection and a site-specific installation. The latter is made out of transparent coloured Perspex in various shapes and sizes. The plastic was installed into the walls, floors and ceilings at predetermined coordinates. In the studio I constructed temporary still lifes using coloured translucent plastic and photographed them. These images became the source for the video projection thrown on top of the installation. The projection saturates the space as it reacts to the Perspex and creates a constantly shifting source of light that refracts, reflects and casts its own projections. The concept came from the way cars are often advertised driving through a dramatic landscape. I used the Perspex to create the landscape and approached the car as I would a piece of Perspex, as an object that reacts to light.

W*: Is there a correlation between car design and your installations?
BY: Both are concerned with creating an immersive experience in a space and both share a concern for form, shape, texture, line and colour. A car designer thinks about the movement of the car and how it feels inside. I think about the space around the car and how it feels. Both consider luxury, too. To me luxury means being immersed in something amazing. 

W*: What elements of the Lexus ‘amazing control’ concept did you find inspiring?
BY: For me ‘amazing control’ is about determining the way people experience a space. That’s what I try to achieve, control over a space to create an amazing experience. 

W*: You work a lot with light. Are car lights an inspiration?
I like the movement car lights give to cities at night and also how they act as spotlights to darkness on rural roads.

Installation by Cristina Parreño

Since setting up her own architectural practice in 2009, the Madrid- and London-based Parreño has been busy designing buildings around the world, as well as teaching design at the MIT School of Architecture + Planning in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Here, we catch up with Parreño...

Wallpaper*: Can you tell us about your installation?
Cristina Parreño
: The installation is an attempt to capture movement in a still construction. The project pays homage to Étienne-Jules Marey’s 1882 chronophotographic gun. It could take 12 consecutive frames a second and record the frames on the same picture, which allowed Marey to conduct studies of the movement of living beings and abstract forms. The installation envisions the reconstruction of those images back to reality, the idea being that the movement of an element is represented by the repetition of that same object in different positions.  A series of lines constructed by translucent tubes play with light and space to produce the illusion of movement around the Lexus IS.

W*: Is there a correlation between car design and building design? 
The car industry has always attracted the interest of architects. During the modernist movement, in particular, architects glorified motor vehicles for their functional beauty and modern manufacturing processes. The building industry, which is primarily ‘customised’, started to be thought of in terms of ‘mass production’, a concept that belonged to the car industry and which was espoused by Le Corbusier. There are important correlations between car and building design in that both have to deal with issues of technology, function, structure, efficiency and aesthetics. However, the car industry has been able to adapt faster to the advances of technology because of its relation to mass-market economies. The building industry should learn how to integrate design and technology from the car industry.

W*: What elements of the Lexus ‘amazing control’ concept did you find inspiring?
: Power and efficiency in perfect balance speaks about strength and precision, about structure and equilibrium. Those are very architectural ideas that suggest the possibility that structure and performance are integrated.

The new Lexus IS

From any angle, the new Lexus IS embodies a new generation of motoring technology and driving experience. Its striking exterior, anchored by a distinctive spindle grille, encases groundbreaking, low-emission, full hybrid power and precision movement. Aerodynamics are integrated into every part of the vehicle, while the leather-wrapped interior cocoons driver and passenger in one of the finest rides on the road

  • The hybrid Lexus IS 300h also comes in dynamic F SPORT versions

  • The Lexus IS 300h sedan includes - for the first time ever - bio-sourced materials, including an inlay made from indigenous, Japanese bamboo. At the end of its life, up to 85 per cent of the IS can be recycled, including the hybrid battery

  • The Lexus IS sedan allows the driver to choose the most ecological route by calculating the lowest fuel consumption to create the fewest emissions

  • The Lexus IS 300h F SPORT includes adaptive variable suspension and power steering for the most dynamic drive ever

  • The Lexus IS production is overseen by award-winning Japanese artisans at the Tahara plant, who have created an interior with increased passenger leg room and an extended wheelbase that feels as good as it looks

  • With a seamless smartphone interface and next-generation navigation, the Lexus IS is a technological dream. Features include Lane Departure Alert, Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert to detect vehicles behind. It also comes with Pre-Crash Radar to identify danger ahead and even apply the brakes if necessary

  • The Lexus IS 300h F SPORT features digital display technology originally designed to show the revving peaks of the Lexus V10 supercar

  • After rigorous testing in the Lexus advanced driving simulator, the IS was then tested on the racetrack. Chief engineer Junichi Furuyama went back to basics concentrating on the fundamentals of how a rear-wheel drive sedan should handle, developing a new chassis, suspension and steering to enhance driving enjoyment, agility and precision

  • Since 2004, Lexus has sold over 50,000 hybrid models. The IS 300h is the company’s second-generation hybrid, delivering exceptionally low emissions, dropping to zero when in electric vehicle mode

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