Japan – Opening of “Lexus: Sparks of Tomorrow” at the 2022 Milan Design Week

Today Lexus unveiled its exhibit at the 2022 edition of Milan Design Week, showcasing the brand’s design philosophy and exemplifying Lexus’ commitment to sustainability.

This year’s event, Lexus: Sparks of Tomorrow, presents a trio of design explorations, all inspired by Lexus’ human-centered, future-oriented approach to design. Compelling and engaging, Lexus: Sparks of Tomorrow, includes an immersive installation by award-winning architect and designer Germane Barnes with lighting studio Aqua Creations, new prototypes from LEXUS DESIGN AWARD 2022 finalists, and work by students at London’s Royal College of art envisioning a more sustainable future.

“We are excited to return to Milan Design Week with an incredible array of projects that highlight next generation design and our commitment at Lexus to forging a path towards a carbon-neutral future through technology, craftsmanship, and innovation,” commented Brian Bolain, Lexus’ global head of marketing. “We are especially thrilled to be able to present the work of the LEXUS DESIGN AWARD 2022 finalists and Royal College of Arts students in the context of Germane Barnes’s ON/ installation, in its second iteration here with lighting design studio Aqua Creations. As Milan Design Week opens, we look forward to seeing how the public engages with the Lexus presentation, and makes our vision for the future their own.”

Developed in partnership with Lexus and Germane Barnes, the ON/ installation gives a vision for an electrified, carbon-neutral and human-centred future. The display showcases the Lexus RZ, the first Lexus dedicated battery-electric model. Rendered in a wire frame that is suspended just above the ground, the vehicle’s interpretation embodies Lexus’ vision of a more sustainable future coming into focus and embracing the ideas of electrification, technology, and bespoke design. The RZ is illuminated by Aqua Creations’ Code 130 degrees silk collection of colorful pendant lights, which add a material quality to the immersive installation reflecting Lexus’ vision for a carbon-neutral future becoming a reality. The installation will be accompanied by a lounge area featuring the new ToTeM lighting collection by Aqua Creations.

“It is thrilling to revisit the ON/ installation with Lexus and bring the display to Milan,” said Germane Barnes, principal of Studio Barnes. “The original ON/ exhibit featured the LF-Z, a concept car that signaled a move toward carbon neutrality. Now, with the RZ, we explored the evolution from concept to reality, partnering with Aqua Creations to create an environment that is infused with heightened sense of materiality. Designing for a future that is collaborative, sustainable, equitable, and prioritizes the unique experiences of individuals is both a driving force of my practice and an exciting synergy with the designers showcased across Sparks of Tomorrow.”

Visitors will also have the opportunity to explore the work of the six finalists of the LEXUS DESIGN AWARD 2022, promising talent. Finalists were chosen for their original solutions contributing to a better tomorrow, while articulating the Lexus brand’s three core principles–Anticipate, Innovate, and Captivate; while seamlessly enhancing the happiness of all, by a panel of design luminaries. The finalists spent three months developing their original proposals and creating prototypes under the enthusiastic and highly skilled mentors. Mentoring by the world’s leading creators was a once-in-a-lifetime learning experience for these up-and-coming talents and it is recognized as a feature of this Award.

Lexus’ presentation will also include work by students presenting radical new luxury transport concepts in a creative programme commissioned by Lexus, “2040: The Soul of Future Premium” for the Royal College of Art in London, UK. The project challenged postgraduate students at the college’s Intelligent Mobility Design Centre (IMDC) to explore new vehicle architectures to meet changes in European city life and society and to re-imagine the role Lexus might play as a luxury mobility brand. The six-month programme included mentoring and assessment sessions with Ian Cartabiano and Lance Scott, respectively President and Senior Manager at Lexus’ European design studio, ED2, together with Prof Dale Harrow, Chair of the IMDC, and Dr Chris Thorpe, the RCA’s Intelligent Mobility Head of Programme.

Dates and opening hours
June 6 – 12, 11 am to 9 pm

Superstudio Piu (Art Point)
Via Tortona, 27 20144 – Milano, Italy

ON/ installation created by Germane Barnes with Aqua Creations
Designs by the six finalists in the LEXUS DESIGN AWARD 2022
Designs by students at the Royal College of Art (RCA) in London

About Germane Barnes

Germane Barnes is the director of Studio Barnes, and Associate Professor at the University of Miami School of Architecture. Barnes’ practice investigates the connection between architecture and identity, examining architecture’s social and political agency through historical research and design speculation. Believing strongly in design as a communal process, he approaches each condition imposed on a project as an opportunity for transformation.

He was a winner of the 2021 United States Artists Fellowship, 2021 Wheelwright Prize, 2021 Architectural League Prize for Young Architects and Designers, and is a 2021-2022 Rome Prize Fellow at the American Academy in Rome.

Copyright ©2022 JCN Newswire. All rights reserved. A division of Japan Corporate News Network.

Hong Kong – Opening remarks by SDEV on works policy areas at LegCo Finance Committee special meeting

Opening remarks by SDEV on works policy areas at LegCo Finance Committee special meeting


     Following is the opening remarks (English translation) by the Secretary for Development, Mr Michael Wong, on works policy areas at the special meeting of the Legislative Council Finance Committee today (April 13):


     In the 2022-23 financial year, the Development Bureau has several priority tasks for works as follows.

     Regarding the fight against the epidemic, we are very grateful for the full support of the Central Government, enabling the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government, the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the HKSAR and the designated contractor to establish a tripartite liaison mechanism, and works departments are organised to set up a task force. Through close communication and co-ordination among all parties, we are building eight community isolation and treatment facilities at full speed. Of these, six were completed and opened last month. The facilities at Penny’s Bay and Kai Tak will be completed in batches shortly. The above facilities, providing about 40 000 beds in total, will significantly enhance Hong Kong’s capability of fighting against the epidemic and isolation.

     As for the Lantau Tomorrow Vision, the Government expects that, in the fourth quarter of 2022, preliminary proposals can be made on four aspects, namely the reclamation extent, transportation infrastructure and routing, land use and financing options, so as to listen to public views. We originally expect to commence the first phase of reclamation in 2027, with a view to having the first batch of population intake in 2034. We are considering streamlining the legal and relevant administrative procedures and will strive to further advance the above timetable.

     To strengthen manpower development, we will also suggest to inject $1.2 billion into the Construction Innovation and Technology Fund to continue to support the industry’s application of advanced construction methods and new technologies, and earmark $30 million to promote applied research and development in public works and the industry, with a view to enhancing the overall productivity and performance of the construction industry.

     To enhance the capability of the coastal areas in responding to rising sea levels and extreme waves caused by climate change, the Government plans to take forward appropriate improvement works and management measures in the next five years for 26 coastal low-lying or windy residential areas that are prone to high potential risks.

     Lastly, we will earmark an additional $1 billion for the Built Heritage Conservation Fund to continue implementing the Revitalising Historic Buildings Through Partnership Scheme, under which the Government funds conservation projects while non-profit-making partners revitalise and make good use of historic buildings in innovative ways. The funding will provide financial support for more private owners to maintain their historic buildings, and will further support public engagement activities and academic research on the theme of built heritage conservation.

     Thank you, Chairman. I and my team will be happy to answer any questions that Members may wish to raise.

Opening of Michael-Cleary L.A. Design Showroom in the WeHo Design District

 Michael-Cleary showrooms is excited to announce the opening of the Michael-Cleary LA Showroom in the West Hollywood Design District on Melrose Avenue on April 18, 2022. The third location of the Michael-Cleary showrooms, with existing locations in Chicago and Washington, DC.

Matt Costigan, owner of Michael-Cleary, commented on his reason to add a third showroom to the brand stating that “After the exciting expansion into furniture production with Minton-Spidell in the Los Angeles area, I noticed an opportunity to fill a gap in the luxury trade line offerings the Michael-Cleary showroom already provides the interior design community in Chicago and Washington.”

The 3,600 square feet LA showroom will offer a complete range of to-the-trade interior design products. The LA showroom opens with Hickory Chair, Century, Minton-Spidell, Niermann Weeks, Cameron, JH Lighting, Hubbard, Groves Bros., Philipe David, Joseph Noble Textiles, and Palacek.

The Michael Cleary L.A. showroom also welcomes Deric Schmidt as the Showroom Manager. He brings over 30 years of showroom management experience in the Southern California interior design community.


Deric Schmidt

(424) 653-3350



PDF of press release


  • Art
  • Business
  • Furniture & Furnishings
  • Household Products
  • Lifestyle
  • Retail

Hong Kong – Opening remarks by Acting SHA at LegCo Finance Committee special meeting

Opening remarks by Acting SHA at LegCo Finance Committee special meeting


     Following is the opening remarks (English translation) by the Acting Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Jack Chan, at the special meeting of the Legislative Council Finance Committee today (April 12):

Mr Chairman,

     I would like to first brief Members about the key areas of our work on home affairs in 2022-23, which are related to the Budget.

Arts and Culture

Hong Kong Performing Arts Market

     The National 14th Five-Year Plan supports the development of Hong Kong into an East-meets-West Centre for International Cultural Exchange. To complement this new positioning, the Home Affairs Bureau (HAB) plans to allocate $42 million for organising the first Hong Kong Performing Arts Market within two years to facilitate exchanges amongst arts and culture practitioners in the Mainland, overseas and Hong Kong, and expand the trading market of performing arts programmes.

Promotion of arts technology

     To further promote arts technology development, we will allocate $30 million to implement the Arts Technology Funding Pilot Scheme and inject an additional $10 million into the Arts Capacity Development Funding Scheme to encourage the 9 major performing arts groups, and small and medium-sized arts groups to explore the application of arts technology. Moreover, we will provide an annual provision of $85 million to support the development of the East Kowloon Cultural Centre into a major arts technology incubator providing structured training. We also set aside $70 million to upgrade the facilities of the performing arts venues under the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD). More quality arts productions successfully integrating arts and technology will enhance Hong Kong’s standing in the international arts arena.

Conservation training

     On conservation training, we will allocate a total of $37 million over the next 6 financial years starting from this year to provide professional training for the conservators of the LCSD and the soon-to-open Hong Kong Palace Museum, and increase the number of places under the museum trainee (conservation) and the summer internship programme, with an aim to foster the professional development of conservation and museum personnel in Hong Kong.

Cantonese Opera Development Fund

     The Cantonese Opera Development Fund will receive an injection of $100 million in 2022-23 to further support Cantonese opera practitioners in pursuing their professional advancement and continuous training, with a view to facilitating the long-term development of the Cantonese opera sector.

Community Arts Scheme

     Popularisation of arts can enrich our quality of life.  In 2022-23, the LCSD will continue to implement the Community Arts Scheme across the 18 districts. Starting from the 2024-25 financial year, an annual recurrent provision of $20 million will be allocated for the LCSD to collaborate with local small and medium arts groups and district organisations to curate tailor-made arts activities with the aim of promoting the integration of arts into our community, providing more opportunities for members of the public to take part in arts and cultural activities, thereby enhancing the artistic ambience in the community.


Allocation of new resources for sports development

     The Government has since 2017 allocated over $60 billion of new resources to promote sports development in Hong Kong proactively and provide more sports and recreational facilities. Among which, the Kai Tak Sports Park, occupying a site of about 28 hectares, aims to provide modern and multi-purpose sports and leisure facilities. Its superstructure works and detailed design are underway for target completion in the end of next year. In addition, out of the 26 projects under the Five-Year Plan for Sports and Recreation Facilities, funding approval has been obtained for 21 projects, seven of which are available for public use. We will submit the funding application for the Redevelopment of Yuen Long Stadium (Main Works) in due course and hope to get the Legislative Council’s approval as soon as possible.

Transformation of public play spaces

     The HAB has launched a five-year plan to transform more than 170 public play spaces under the LCSD across the territory with a view to injecting more innovative and fun elements. The LCSD will encourage and promote community participation and engagement in the process of transforming the public play spaces.

Five-year plan for upgrading football pitches

     The Government announced in the 2021-22 Budget to set aside about $320 million to implement a five-year plan for upgrading over 70 football pitches under the management of the LCSD. In 2021-22, the LCSD has commenced improvement works for 17 pitches, of which nine have been completed. The LCSD will, in consultation with relevant works departments, continue to actively explore the technical feasibility of carrying out the improvement works with a view to implementing the works concerned as soon as possible.

Support measures for “M” Mark events

     Many major international sports events scheduled for 2021 were cancelled or postponed due to the pandemic. We have provided a special direct grant with a ceiling of $2 million for each affected event. We will continue to encourage “national sports associations” to organise more major sports events in Hong Kong.

Youth Development

     The Government will continue to work closely with the Youth Development Commission to address young people’s concerns about education, career pursuit and home ownership, and encourage their participation in politics, public policy discussion and debate. We will also put more emphasis on nurturing young people’s positive thinking to help them develop positive values so that they may become young individuals with a passion for the Motherland and Hong Kong, as well as a commitment to serving the community. We have set aside sufficient funds for this financial year and will, subject to the development of the pandemic, take forward various youth development initiatives when it is safe and practicable to do so.  

Celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

     This year marks an important milestone for our city as we celebrate the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to the Motherland and the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. We are organising a broad range of major celebration events in Hong Kong, the Mainland and overseas under the theme of “A New Era – Stability • Prosperity • Opportunity”. We also welcome and encourage various sectors of the community to organise different types of celebration activities for the participation and enjoyment of all. As the pandemic stabilises and steadily subsides, the celebration events will be gradually rolled out as planned.

     My colleagues and I are happy to answer questions from Members. Thank you, Mr Chairman. 

Hong Kong – SEN’s opening remarks at LegCo Finance Committee special meeting

SEN’s opening remarks at LegCo Finance Committee special meeting


     ​Following is the English translation of the opening remarks by the Secretary for the Environment, Mr Wong Kam-sing, at the special meeting of the Legislative Council Finance Committee this afternoon (April 11):




     The Financial Secretary continues to support Hong Kong’s work on various fronts to combat climate change and protect the environment in the Budget this year.


     The Environment Bureau announced last October Hong Kong’s Climate Action Plan 2050, setting out four major decarbonisation strategies, namely net-zero electricity generation, energy saving and green buildings, green transport, and waste reduction, to lead Hong Kong to achieving carbon neutrality before 2050.


     This year’s Budget has proposed an allocation of over $10 billion to projects for combating climate change. Technological development plays a pivotal role in achieving carbon neutrality. The Government will inject an additional funding of $200 million into the Green Tech Fund (GTF). We estimate that the injection could support about 40 research and development (R&D) projects relevant to net-zero electricity generation, energy saving and green buildings, green transport, and waste reduction. The injection will not only further promote decarbonisation and enhance environmental protection in Hong Kong, but also create job opportunities for the innovation and technology sector. The second round of applications has recently closed in February. About 100 applications have been received. I hope the local public research institutes, R&D centres and private companies will continue to actively make use of the opportunities offered by the GTF to develop low-carbon and green technologies that meet the specific needs of the Hong Kong and regional environment and market. The Budget also announced the plan to seek funding approval of about $8.4 billion this year for carrying out drainage improvement works in various districts to enhance the flood control capability, with a view to better coping with the risks of rising sea levels and extreme waves caused by climate change.


     On green transport, according to the Hong Kong Roadmap on Popularisation of Electric Vehicles issued last year, we will cease new registration of fuel‑propelled and hybrid private cars in 2035 or earlier, continue to formulate trials for various electric and hydrogen fuel cell commercial vehicles, expand the electric vehicle (EV) charging network, and more, with the aim of attaining zero vehicular emissions before 2050. In view of the continued rapid growth of the EV market and the positive market response to our EV-charging at Home Subsidy Scheme, the Budget has proposed to inject an additional $1.5 billion to extend the Scheme for four years. The overall $3.5 billion subsidy scheme will support the installation of charging‑enabling infrastructure for a total of about 140 000 parking spaces in some 700 car parks in existing private residential buildings, accounting for about half of the eligible parking spaces in Hong Kong. On the other hand, the Government is making preparations to gradually convert some existing petrol or liquefied petroleum gas filling stations into quick charging stations, so as to support a more diversified EV charging infrastructure to cope with different needs.


     As regards the promotion of waste reduction and recycling, the Government will set up more smart recycling points as part of an expanded smart recycling pilot programme, and continue to upgrade the current community recycling support through enhancement of the community recycling network and Green Outreach services, and more. In addition, the relevant bill on municipal solid waste charging was passed by the Legislative Council in August 2021. The Environmental Protection Department is actively commencing preparatory work.


     Last but not least, the Government will extend the rental concession for tenants in the EcoPark, country parks and the Hong Kong Wetland Park for another six months amid the fight against the epidemic and to get through the difficult times together.


     My colleagues and I are happy to listen to Members’ views and respond to questions.


     Thank you, Chairman.