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Lexus Installation Unveiled in Miami

The project by Dutch solar designer Marjan van Aubel is on display at Miami Art & Design Week until December 17.

By Juliet McGuire

Lexus has revealed “8 Minutes and 20 Seconds,” an exhibit by Dutch solar designer Marjan van Aubel at Miami Art & Design Week. Marjan van Aubel’s global recognition as a champion of sustainability in art and design aligned with Lexus’ forward-thinking design philosophy, leading to a natural partnership between the artist and the brand.

The design can be viewed at the sculpture garden at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami (ICA Miami). This striking solar piece re-imagines the Lexus Future Zero-emission Catalyst (LF-ZC) concept car as an interactive experience through van Aubel’s trademark use of solar cells. This marks van Aubel’s first public project in Miami, but it is the second year for Lexus and ICA Miami and the brand’s sixth immersive experience during Miami Art & Design Week. The collaboration seeks to build experiences that inspire visitors to ponder the immense potential of creative design.

The installation is named after the time it takes sunlight to reach the earth, “8 Minutes and 20 Seconds.” It uses Organic Photovoltaics (OPV), third-generation solar cells that are both transparent and rich with colour, to translate the LF-ZC into a graphic pattern design, in a true-to-size representation of the car.

As viewers move around it and explore different perspectives, it awakens. Van Aubel says, “This installation invites people to interact with light and colour and engages them to imagine a more sustainable, positive future.”

Four individual motion sensors spark light to bounce and ripple like water across the installation’s base, which represents the car’s EV platform. At unexpected intervals, the installation springs to life in an ephemeral spectacle — light cascades across it as a melody crescendos, mirroring the dynamics of the car in motion and offering a sensory glimpse into the energy of driving. As the day progresses, the warm sunrise hues reflecting throughout the OPV sheets give way to cooler tones. The sculpture harnesses solar power throughout the day, drawing energy from the OPV sheets.

The installation emanates an ambient melody with string instruments, soft piano and chimes that harmonise with the surrounding environment. Intermittently, the melody is embellished with bird songs and other sound effects. It also introduces woody bamboo notes which is a subtle nod to the original car’s interior which used bamboo materials.

Lexus’ Global Head of Marketing, Brian Bolain, says, “We are honoured to work with a solar design pioneer as esteemed as Marjan van Aubel. Her singular vision and expertise have built a remarkable installation that illuminates the design essence of the LF-ZC concept and her dedication to human-first, sustainable design is something we share and value dearly. It’s thrilling to see this sculpture come alive in the garden at ICA Miami.”

Juliet McGuire

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