Lexus unveiled “8 Minutes and 20 Seconds”, an installation by Dutch solar designer Marjan van Aubel, which is now on view within the sculpture garden at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami (ICA Miami). Brimming with life and color, the striking solar sculpture reimagines the Lexus Future Zero-emission Catalyst (LF-ZC) concept car as an interactive experience through van Aubel’s trademark use of solar cells. “8 Minutes and 20 Seconds” marks van Aubel’s first public project in Miami and has been realized through design development by spatial and experience design firm Random Studio.
Named in reference to the time it takes sunlight to reach the earth, “8 Minutes and 20 Seconds” uses Organic Photovoltaics (OPV), third-generation solar cells that are both transparent and rich with color, to translate the LF-ZC into a graphic pattern design, in a true-to-size representation of the concept car.
“8 Minutes and 20 Seconds” awakens to the presence of viewers as they move around it and explore different perspectives. 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 crescendoes, 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.
Throughout the day, the sculpture harnesses solar power, drawing energy from the OPV sheets. These solar cells accumulate energy into batteries discreetly nestled within the sculpture’s base. Slowly but surely, this continual absorption culminates, storing a reservoir of solar-derived power to help sustain the sculpture’s captivating displays and features.
The installation emanates an ambient melody, weaving together warm string instruments, soft piano and chimes that harmonize with the surrounding environment. Intermittently, the melody is embellished with birdsong and other sound effects. At times, the composition introduces woody bamboo notes, a subtle nod to the original car’s interior bamboo material, integrating its essence into the auditory experience.
On view through December 17th, “8 Minutes and 20 Seconds” marks Lexus’ second year partnering with ICA Miami and the brand’s sixth immersive experience during Miami Art & Design Week. Through collaboration and presenting world-class installations, Lexus and ICA Miami are committed to building experiences that inspire visitors to ponder the immense potential of creative design.
Globally recognized as an advocate for sustainability in art and design, van Aubel is a natural partner to Lexus’s forward-thinking design ethos. Notably, Van Aubel previously worked with Lexus as a mentor to the winners of the 2023 Lexus Design Award, which provides mentorships and development support for emerging designers around the world to create new products that build towards a better future. Championed for her furniture and lighting design as well as public installations, her work bridges solar technology with aesthetic design solutions. Her work is held in the collections of prestigious institutions such as the MoMA, Vitra Design Museum, Stedelijk Museum, and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
“It’s been a joy to bring the LF-ZC concept car to life! Lexus’s ethos towards innovation, craftsmanship, and new material use resonates with my design practice. This installation invites people to interact with light and color and engages them to imagine a more sustainable, positive future. Through this partnership, I could tell a new narrative of generating energy beautifully,” said Marjan van Aubel.
“We are honored 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,” said Brian Bolain, Lexus’ global head of marketing.
“Environmental sustainability is a priority for ICA Miami as we have made a year-round commitment to minimizing and offsetting our carbon footprint. Marjan van Aubel’s powerful work with Lexus represents significant advances in innovative sustainable design and represents how global ecological concern drives contemporary solutions. We are delighted to provide an important platform for Marjan van Aubel and their powerful work during Miami Art Week,” said Alex Gartenfeld, Irma and Norman Braman Artistic Director at ICA Miami.
Alongside the new installation, Lexus will again present Lexus Art Series: Art and Innovation talks with Whitewall. On Wednesday, December 6th at ICA Miami, two panels, Reimagining Systems: Tapping into the Power of Light and Design in the Public Arena: A Vision for Humanity, will offer impactful conversations to the public at 4:30 pm and 5:30 pm, respectively. In addition to Marjan van Aubel, participants of the first discussion will include moderator and Whitewall Magazine senior editor Eliza Jordan, Lexus Color & Sensory Designer Viviana Hohenstein, and Founder & Chief Creative of ARTECHOUSE Sandro Kereselidze. The subsequent conversation with Interior Chief Designer at Toyota Motor Corporation’s North American design studio, Calty Design Research, William Chergosky, artist and Drift co-founder Ralph Nauta, and ICNCLST CEO Sky Gellatly will be moderated by Le Car co-founder and CEO Tamara Warren.