Mazda seized the opportunity presented by Milan Design Week to demonstrate its passion for beauty, as mirrored by the award-winning “KODO – Soul of Motion” design of its vehicles. Ikuo Maeda, the company’s global head of design, joined two of his regional colleagues in Italy for the event to share inspiration with artists and creative professionals from across the globe, and he brought along a convention-defying creation of his own.
KODO was naturally the theme of the object designed by Mr. Maeda and his team in Hiroshima and unveiled in Milan together with Peter Birtwhistle as well as Derek Jenkins, respectively Mazda’s European and North American design chiefs. Rather than an automobile, however, it was a provocative piece of furniture: the KODO Chair. Despite being a stationary object, the futuristic KODO Chair clearly exudes motion. Painstakingly crafted, there are distinct parallels between the chair and Mazda models with the KODO design, such as the ready-to-pounce, forward-leaning stance conveying the sudden release of pent- up energy. There is also a beauty and precision in both the chair and vehicles that KODO’s designers see as the true sense of Japan.
“Mazda is addressing a broader world at Milan Design Week. We’re here to share our creative vision and expand our horizons, to be inspired in such a stimulating environment and, I hope, inspire others,” says Mr. Maeda, who was in charge of KODO’s development.
“We believe the approach we’ve taken with the KODO Chair could influence our future car designs. Our attitude is to accept any challenge if we believe we can create something unique. This is the way to develop a vehicle.” The KODO Chair is, in fact , very relevant in several ways. Beyond uniting the motion and artistry captured by KODO, the chair is also a perfect fit for the Salone Internazionale del Mobile – the world’s leading furniture fair and the largest single attraction during Milan Design Week. The chair was unveiled at Mazda Con - Temporary Space (MACS), a special venue set up by Mazda in Milan’s fashionable Zona Tortona for the company’s design week festivities. Conceived around the themes “movement” and “soul of motion ”, MACS features the all -new Mazda6 as well as a unique exhibit by Giuliana Cunéaz, an Italian artist whos e artistic vision in many ways reflects Mazda’s approach to design.
Created by Ms. Cunéaz especially for MACS, the exhibition Forma Fluens expresses motion using 3D and HD video installations along with painted screens, sculptures, photographs and drawin gs to take the observer on a captivating journey through a virtual metamorphic landscape exploring nanotechnology and other forms of science. Forma Fluens can be viewed at MACS until 14 April.
About “KODO – Soul of Motion” The design theme for Mazda’s ne w model generation, “KODO – Soul of Motion” was inspired by the movements of animals in the wild. Bursting with energy and emotion, KODO exemplifies Mazda’s devotion to building stunningly fashioned yet highly efficient driver - oriented vehicles. The all -new Mazda6, the second KODO production model, recently won the renowned “red dot award: product design 2013”, giving it the right to wear the internationally-acclaimed “red dot” seal, and was also one of three finalists for the 2013 World Car Design of the Year. Other honours to date for KODO include Auto Bild’s 2012 European Design Award for the Mazda CX-5 compact SUV, the first KODO model. The Mazda Takeri – the basis for the new Mazda6 – also took first place at the German Design Council’s Automotive Brand Contest 2012 in the concept car category.
About the all -new Mazda6 Mazda’s new C/D segment flagship, the Mazda6 features the full range of breakthrough SKYACTIV Technology underneath its striking KODO lines. It combines a lightweight yet ultra -safe de sign with highly -efficient engines and transmissions and a level of dynamic, linear responsiveness that makes it a joy to drive.
Sedan or wagon, the new Mazda6 delivers an uncompromising blend of class -leading fuel economy, premium -segment performance and handling, and a refined, spacious interior.
About Milan Design Week An open event giving artists and companies alike a prime opportunity to present design work and installations at locations of their choice throughout the city, Milan Design Week evolved out of the Salone Internazionale del Mobile, a furniture fair held annually since 1961. The largest event of its kind in the world, the Salone currently attracts some 2,500 exhibitors and around 300,000 visitors to the Fiera Milano exhibition grounds. The 2013 editions of the Salone and Milan Design Week run from 9-14 April.