Suchi Reddy Channels Ethereal Weightlessness for Lexus Installation

“Design always starts with context,” says Suchi Reddy, the architect behind Lexus‘ installation at this year’s Design Miami. For the occasion, she has created a piece that pays homage to the shapes and forms found on the Lexus Electrified Sport. It’s a slightly different kind of commission for Reddy, whose practice “Reddymade” is behind many large-scale projects throughout the US, but this time, the design context in question comes in the form of a museum sculpture garden.

Since the studio’s foundation in 2002, Reddy and her team have become known for combining architecture with neuroaesthetics and examining how the built environment impacts wellbeing. Her collaboration with Lexus offers an extension of this ethos, with its ethereal qualities designed to bring about a multisensory experience.

Named “Shaped by Air”, Reddy’s installation is in place at Miami’s Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA). Its cutout form abstracts the shape of the vehicle, to a point where individual elements appear as sculptures in their own right. Mist and light bring the piece to life, while organic, leaflike shapes in a vibrant shade of green call on nature while referencing the work of Henri Matisse. Part of the installation has been crafted from post-consumer materials, with the majority of the structure comprising steel and aluminum. Despite both the design and its material makeup being solid – the addition of the mist creates a sense of movement and levitation, with natural light casting shadows across the surrounding sculpture garden.


For Reddy, the fact that the piece wasn’t constricted to the confines of a tent was a major bonus. “I went about designing this in a similar to how I would do an architectural project,” she says. “It starts with a context – and in this case, I was super excited that it was in the ICA.” Lexus provided Reddy with some conceptual springboards and discussed with her the things they are most focused on at present. “They spoke about carbon neutrality, commitment to the environment, hospitality, and personal luxury – and asked me to think about how I could represent these things through my own lens.”

In addition to the installation, and to encourage a moment of mindfulness, the gardens have been decked with benches made from eco-terrazzo. These too have been informed by the shape of the Electrified Sport vehicle, but also encompass a much-needed solar-powered charging station. “The garden features lots of stone sculptures that needed space to breathe, so it couldn’t be something that was solid, as it would crowd everything up. I had to think about dematerializing a solid object,” Reddy adds.

The Shaped by Air installation will be on show at the ICA in the coming weeks. Elsewhere in the city, check out the best things to see this Design Miami.

ICA Miami
61 NE 41st St
Miami, FL 33137
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