toyo ito + akihisa hirata: LEXUS amazing flow at milan design week 2013
toyo ito + akihisa hirata: LEXUS amazing flow at milan design week 2013 toyo ito + akihisa hirata: LEXUS amazing flow at milan design week 2013
apr 17, 2013

toyo ito + akihisa hirata: LEXUS amazing flow at milan design week 2013

akihisa hirata design of ‘amazing flow’, the LEXUS installation created with the supervision by toyo itoimage courtesy of LEXUS




designboom and LEXUS have celebrated ‘LEXUS design amazing 2013’. the presentation combines LEXUS new design direction with the finest in japanese contemporary art, architecture and design to express its vision of the future.


‘LEXUS amazing flow’ is a multi-sensory environment, a collaboration between akihisa hirata as space designer and pritzker prize winner toyo ito as supervisor. presented during milan design week 2013, the installation allows visitors to experience the kinesthetic flow of the future city, informed by the concept of ‘flow’ in both natural and man-made contexts.

the second room of the ‘LEXUS design amazing 2013’ milan exhibition featured the 12 winning design ideas from the first LEXUS DESIGN AWARD that designboom has co-organized. the LEXUS design award is an international competition to solve pertinent issues through design. by continually discovering, supporting and nurturing new talent, LEXUS communicates the importance of design to the next generation of future builders.the show took place at milan’s museo della permanente art gallery (via filippo turati, 34) from april 10th to 14th.

‘amazing flow’ installation by akihisa hirata for LEXUS image courtesy of LEXUS



within a deliberately dark, triple-height room – the size of a large school gymnasium – the eerily uplit interconnecting pathways of the sculpture are large enough to walk on. Indeed you can in parts, but collectively they tower over any viewer, who is also serenaded by the sight and sound of dry ice sporadically firing out from certain sections. floating up within the approximately 330 m2 space is a phantasmagorical path born from the wind as found in nature. visitors become one with the flow as they stroll through the natural wood installation that brings to mind visions of a future urban environment. wind flow – within the hall in which the dynamic installation rises to heights of up to 5.5m, an illuminated spray of mist and giant fan deliver a visual and tactile wind flow experience to visitors.

akihisa hirata with a model of the installation




the installation draws inspiration from multiple examples of ‘flow’ as diverse as the shaping of a landscape by the erosion of rivers, the circulatory system of the human body,  the sculptural erosion of rock outcrops by the wind and the movement of cars along road patterns dictated by both geography and human settlement. reinforcing the powerful connection between natural and man-made examples of ‘flow’ the installation represents a vision of the city of tomorrow, engaging visitors’ senses and encouraging them to reflect on the continued impact of nature on design. cars and humans travel along the ground, but not exclusively and over an incredible number of years, even the surface of the planet joins the flow as it changes form. cities are also part of the flow, while the human body is an aggregate comprised of a variety of small flows.

LEXUS design award – amazing flow – video explaining the design intents by toyo ito and akihisa hiratavideo courtesy LEXUS


 in-situ installation



people, cars, wind and water interact as a single entity and demonstrate new ways of living and moving. the installation used 100 square metres of wood to clad and took five months to build. its ultimate point is two-fold: to help create an exhibition of ‘unexpected encounters’ but also to potentially inspire future LEXUS car design.

videos explaining the installation design

akihisa hirata: amazing flow installation for LEXUSvideo © designboom


the installation is meant to demonstrate the flow of our future cities

rendering of the pathway

prototype view


toyo ito (left) and akihisa hirata (right)

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