Designing tomorrow’s luxury
Nature has always been a boundless source of inspiration for designers, and for Lexus, it is the guiding force behind their commitment to sustainability. In a world where the pursuit of sustainability has become essential, luxury automaker Lexus takes the lead in showcasing their commitment to a greener future. With its line-up of Lexus Electrified cars, the brand emphasises the importance of sustainable practices in the automotive industry. Their NX 350h is one such car. In a bid to merge sustainable technology and artistic innovation, Lexus India collaborated with evo India to host the Nature Electrified Design Contest. Following up on our Earth Day road trip with the NX 350h, the competition called upon designers from all over the country, asking them to explore nature-inspired themes that complemented the eco-conscious performance of the Lexus NX 350h SUV. The competition sought to envision a design that would integrate the vehicle into the natural world, symbolising Lexus’s commitment to a greener automotive future.
The jury round was held on World Environment Day at the Lexus Meraki, Pune, followed by a round of public voting, and finally, on Nature Conservation Day, the winning design was unveiled at a Lexus Life event at the Lexus New Delhi Guest Experience Centre.
Amongst the numerous inspiring entries, Ratin Mohan, a talented design student specialising in animation and video editing stood out. His design won the judges over because of its visionary brilliance and harmony with the design contest’s theme. Speaking about the contest, Ratin said that it was always his dream to promote a sustainable world through his designs and this contest allowed him to showcase his talents at a high level and his passion for creating designs that contribute to sustainability and respect for nature aligned perfectly with Lexus’ vision for the contest. Ratin’s design incorporated the five elements of nature showcasing how nature sustains itself, and was locked in with inputs from Lexus India and evo India.
Speaking about the final design, Ratin said, “Teaming up with Lexus and evo India, we amplified and redefined our original design and have come up with such beautiful nature-inspired art. We seamlessly blended textures, colours and shapes to capture the essence of the five elements of our nature. That is earth, sky, sun, water and wind – earth symbolises stability, water symbolises adaptability, sky symbolises freedom, the sun symbolises transformative power and wind symbolises on its own, the dynamic force. Through these elements, my aim is to create a captivating and electrifying design which will make us realise every day to work for a better tomorrow and a sustainable world and thus we name this craft as ‘The Elements’”
The next phase was an intricate one. The design had to be adapted to fit the curves and contours of the Lexus NX 350h, specialists in wraps for high-end cars, were called upon. This manual process required expert craftsmen to apply the printed wrap with their hands, often using simple tools. The delicate and technical craftsmanship of the process perfectly resonated with Lexus’ brand ethos which celebrates the skill and artistry of dedicated artisans. This sits perfectly well with Lexus’ approach to making cars, where Takumi, or master craftsmen, put together their cars with an incredible eye for detail.
The team head emphasised the challenges of the wrapping process and praised his skilled team for their ability to execute this complex job with ease. Wrapping luxury cars requires expertise, considering the intricate shapes and creases, dust challenges in India, and material complexities. The use of top-quality materials was crucial to ensure the best outcome, and the team demonstrated their unparalleled craftsmanship during the process.
The day of the final unveiling soon arrived, and a grand Lexus Life event was the chosen platform at the Lexus New Delhi guest experience center — a space that goes beyond just a car dealership. It draws inspiration from 20th century icons and houses art from the likes of George Nakashima, Piet Mondrian and Finn Juhl.
The unveiling event marked the culmination of months of creativity, dedication and innovation. In the presence of Sirish Chandran, editorial director of evo India, Naveen Soni, president of Lexus India, and other esteemed guests from the design and media fraternity, Ratin’s masterpiece was revealed in all its glory. With a collective gasp of appreciation, the crowd witnessed the fusion of automotive technology and artistic vision — the Lexus Nature Electrified Element. Naveen Soni proudly presented the winner and expressed his admiration for the winning design that encapsulated the essence of Nature Electrified.
Guests were then given the opportunity to see the car in the flesh. The event fostered discussions about the future of automobile design and the significant role that artists and engineers play in shaping it. Sirish and Naveen, and other guests shared their thoughts on the significance of the Nature Electrified Design Contest and the impact of sustainability in the automotive industry. The consensus was clear – through innovative designs and unwavering commitment, the world could progress towards a more eco-conscious tomorrow.
"This stunning amalgamation of nature's wonders and automotive innovation exemplifies a bold step towards a greener, electrified future," said jury member Sudhir Sharma. Fellow jury member Ankur Sharma added, "The livery captures the essence of living in harmony with nature where the graphics flow seamlessly with the scultped body of the NX."
The Lexus Nature Electrified Element, adorned with the Nature Electrified livery, has embarked on a road trip across various Lexus guest experience centres around the country, showcasing the creativity and craftsmanship that defined this remarkable contest.
The Lexus Nature Electrified Design Contest showcased the potential of merging artistic vision, technological innovation, and eco-consciousness. Lexus has already made steps in this direction, by using recycled plastics for trims, recycled sound proof materials and sustainable plant based materials like castor seeds, bamboo and stem of kenaf for various bits in the interior. As we embrace a more sustainable future, such competitions encourage and inspire artists and engineers to envision a world where nature and technology co-exist in harmony. This exceptional design epitomises the same, where a designer's imagination took form on the Lexus Nature Electrified Elements.