March 23 (Wed), 2016
NY International Auto Show



About “Butterfly Effect of Prius Prime Wire Art Display”:

Just like the “butterfly effect”, the launch of the Prius Prime will send ripples around the globe, enhancing recognition of the Prius’ central role as a next-generation eco car aimed at global environmental protection. The cross-section of the Prius family flagship design is cut in a crystal-like fashion to reveal the plug-in hybrid technology inside. See ‘Concept’ for more details.

Key Features:

(1) In the center is a 3D printed mechanical structure covered by a cocoon-like outer body, forming a wire mesh object that evokes the shape of the “Prius Prime”.
(2) The wings at each side are made using four sheets of special UMU glass, which enables instantly switching between translucent and transparent states.
(3) Images are projected onto the four UMU glass sheets from the back, giving emotional expression to the distinctive design, aerodynamics, and energy management of the Prius plug-in hybrid technology.
(4) Lighting effects, projected images and sound effects are synchronized to create an entirely new kind of art display.
(5) The result is an innovative art display that combines multiple aspects such as ‘ethical’, ‘product design’, ‘technology’, and ‘Japanese aesthetics’.


* Creating a pioneering technology display – 3D wire object

Generally, the internal mechanisms and lines envisaged in the design stage don’t remain in the body, interior, and mechanisms of the finished vehicle. As the Prius Prime is still undergoing development, this technical display was conceived based on CAD data rather than the vehicle itself. The CAD drawings illustrate the functional and aesthetic aspects of the design using impressive wire frames composed of countless lines. Therefore, the aim of the technology display was to recreate this effect so that as many people as possible can see for themselves the beautiful and elaborate lines envisaged by the engineers and designers. Visualizing aspects that are not normally seen enables the advanced technology and design to be clearly expressed, and thus this display was conceived as the best way to express the vehicle’s function as a plug-in hybrid – controlling electricity which is normally invisible.

Mechanical parts such as the engine and hybrid system are represented by forms composed of countless interweaving lines. These forms are recreated using 3D printing technology, resulting in an art object made solely from lines. This makes it possible to represent an overwhelming amount of data as well as functional beauty, which could not be achieved if the object was made by hand. Just like a hand-crafted piece of paper craft and/or “origami” the design of the outer body has extremely simple surfaces, yet retains a sense of ‘Priusness’, thus expressing the vehicle’s warmth and familiarity.

With faces (facets) of cut glass or crystal that express the distinctive character and appearance as a Japanese-made vehicle, and aspects (facets) of the Prius family as a flagship such as design, functionality and ecology that can satisfy the various requirements, the “Prius Prime” is like a ‘cocoon’ within which a life force or energy grows.

(1) Butterfly palette

Like a butterfly opening its crystal-like wings to reveal the 3D wire object at the center, the refracting screens of the butterfly pallete give the impression of a butterfly’s wings as it is about to take flight. The wing on one side is made from screens that can be switched between translucent and transparent states. Emotional images representing varying scenes are projected rhythmically onto these screens, evoking the scales on the butterfly’s wings glittering as they catch the light. These images are synchronized with the light that envelops the art object, bringing it to life and expressing the function of the plug-in hybrid system.


Due to their high fuel efficiency, hybrid vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles are very environmentally friendly. This may seem like only a small contribution from a global perspective. However, such consideration for the environment will send out a ripple effect that will reach around the globe, and further reduce the environmental burdenon the other side of the planet.

Plug-in hybrid vehicles incorporate leading-edge technologies developed for energy diversity and management, and this kind of technology should not be made available exclusively to selected customers. This idea is also linked to Toyota’s environmental approach of ‘maximizing the contribution to the environment by promoting the widespread introduction of eco cars’.

(2) Artistic image of the art object and outer body, and impression of a butterfly taking flight

The beauty of a butterfly fluttering through the air evokes a sense of (emotional) release. Far from being restrictive, eco-friendliness can actually be liberating. As the (product-oriented) embodiment of this ideal, the plug-in hybrid symbolizes the need for more emotional harmony with the world. Images are projected in a flow that evokes aspects such as the vehicle’s energy flow and aerodynamics.

(3) Using the complex movements, shapes, and colors of a butterfly’s wings as a metaphor to represent the energy management of a “Prius Prime”

Butterfly wings are one of nature’s curiosities—the movement and sense of balance, as well as the shapes and colors that give them structure, could almost have been created ‘by design’. The art object and the outer body were thus designed to resemble this structure.

The fusion of gasoline power and electric power embodied in the plug-in hybrid vehicle represents the growing trend towards energy diversification aimed at sustainable mobility, and it is deeply significant that this can be achieved in such a small vehicle. This art object aims to clearly express this image and capture the imagination of the venue visitors. Thus, the art object (technical display) was created to embody the concept that ‘small causes can have large effects’—that the minor changes in air pressure from the flapping wings of a tiny butterfly as it takes flight could cause a hurricane on the other side of the planet.




About Team BEP (Butterfly Effect Project) 2016:

Creative Direction & Concept Design: SOMA DESIGN Takeshi Fukui
Project Manager & Projection: TAKENAKA CO.LTD. Hideki Takayama
Installation Wire Art Display: TELMIC CO.,LTD.
*Product Coordinator: Masayuki Sakiyama
*Developer: Masaki Higuchi
*Developer: Itaru Mogi
*Developer: Sho Fukai
*Drawer: Yasuhiro Hayashi
Installation Wire Art Display: COLOR KINETICS JAPAN CO.,LTD.
*Illumination & Smart Glass Design: Masaki Yamashita
*Illumination & Smart Glass Engineer: Yusuke Miyahara
3D Art Modeling: MUDSNAIL: Yuki Fujimoto
*Director & Developer: Keiki Hoshi
*Developer: Ryota Kobayashi
*Developer: Oolongtha
Installation Wire Art Display:
*Smart Glass Motion Art Director;AID-DCC INC. Shogo Tabuchi
*Smart Glass Motion Designer: Takuya Hosogane
*Smart Glass Motion Designer: Honoko Nomura
*Smart Glass Sound Designer: Satoshi Yoshitake
Translation & Communication Planner Support: Laura Yokozawa
Communication Planner & Producer: Hiroshi Inagawa

Special Thanks:
Toyota Motor Corporation

[email protected]


Video: New York Tokyo
Photos: Yusuke Miyahara