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Lexus Asked Famous Artists to Re-Imagine the LF-Z's Interiors

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Lexus is no stranger to art. The luxury Japanese carmaker has a long history of supporting creative endeavors outside of the automotive industry. This time, the company partnered with three well-known artists to reimagine the interiors of its newest battery electric vehicle, the LF-Z. 

Photo by Lexus.

Targeted to officially launch in 2025, the LF-Z is a major step for Lexus towards an “electrified future,” a commitment to launch initiatives that included the reveal of the concept vehicle last March. The brand said it’s the first in the planned rollout of 20 new or improved models—including more than 10 electrified models such as BEVs, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), and HEVs—by 2025.

The partnership with the artists is meant to be seen as a “a platform for collaboration,” inviting creatives to explore and expand automotive ideas and provide their own takes on the LF-Z’s interior. Lexus worked with Star footwear designer Salehe Bembury, digital artist Ondrej Zunka, and Japanese fashion label Hender Scheme.

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While we may have our own ideas about what a "futuristic vehicle" can look like, the three artists presented some truly creative, and in some ways unexpected, designs about the future of electrified vehicles.

In the case of Bembury, his vision involves bringing his nature-inspired design approach to the LF-Z Electrified, blending both a futuristic aesthetic with organic materials alongside his signature use of bright color.

Bembury's vision involves colors inspired by sandstone landscapes and other natural tones, and opts fornatural materials like cedar, cork and granite instead of traditionally futuristic materials

Photo by Lexus.

“I want this car to feel like a seamless juxtaposition of machine and nature,” says Bembury. “Equally utilizing the function of the machine and the benefits and nature to fuel and nurture the passengers to their destination.”

The concept uses colors inspired by sandstone landscapes and other natural tones, setting aside traditionally futuristic materials in favor of natural materials like cedar, cork and granite. These natural materials sit alongside textiles and patterns that reference Bembury’s background in sneaker design, such as a “hairy” suede used on the seatbacks, and a fingerprint motif that is often found in the designer’s work, applied here for a personalized control panel. 

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Meanwhile, Zunka’s concept car features space-age mechanisms, sci-fi materials and multidimensional hues that transcend both time and space.

Zunka’s concept features space-age mechanisms, sci-fi materials and multidimensional hues

Photo by Lexus.

“This interior design is purely speculative so I allowed for free associations and pure imagination and creativity,” says Zunka. “I wanted to make the interior feel as if it wasn’t made by humans, but maybe designed by a sophisticated artificial intelligence. I wanted to go past any known language and design concepts and forget about what is usually used in automotive interior design.”

The tech-forward interior in Zunka’s design imagines intelligent lighting along the car’s panels that emit an entirely visceral sensation that subtly regulates mood. Translucent silicone seat cushions with memory foam-like properties and a panoramic ceiling, crafted from brushed chrome, complete the artist’s hyper-futuristic vision for the Lexus LZ-F Electrified.

Finally, Tokyo-based fashion label Hender Scheme drew on their deep focus on the natural material characteristics of leather to reflect Lexus’ Japanese heritage and takumi craftsmanship.

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Fashion label Hender Scheme's imagines an all-leather interior,  with the untreated, organic developing a “patina” over time, deepening in color and becoming unique to each vehicle

Photo by Lexus.

The label imagines an interior made almost entirely of leather, juxtaposed with the concept vehicle’s groundbreaking technology.  It reflects the passage of time and the driver’s relationship to the vehicle.

The design is rooted in the work of specialty craftsmen from Asakusa, Tokyo, where the process mirrors the 60,000 hours of experience required of a Lexus takumi craftsman.

“LF-Z Electrified embodies the future of the Lexus brand, so it is exciting to see that future represented by such diverse talent across the design space,” says Brian Bolain, general manager at Lexus International.  “Each of the collaborators brings a fresh energy that not only reinterprets the interior of the LF-Z but also examines the themes of Lexus’ next chapter.”

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Paul John Caña
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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