MINI is showcasing its flair for design with two impressive exhibits at this year's Salone del Mobile. As last year, MINI is using installations at Milan's Università degli Studi and the Triennale Design Museum to highlight the brand's "Creative Use of Space" philosophy. The glue holding the two works together is a time travel concept covering everything from the roots of the brand to the future of mobility.
The Mutant Architecture & Design exhibition initiated by renowned Italian design magazine INTERNI under the watchful eye of Gilda Bojardi, places MINI at centre stage through its design installation "MINI Sintesi." The exhibit is on display in the magnificent Cortile d'Onore at Milan's state university, the Università degli Studi di Milano, as part of the Fuori Salone 2011. Also participating in the show are Zaha Hadid Architects for Artemide and Ingo Maurer for ENEL. "MINI Sintesi" is a 3-D sculpture created by Head of MINI Design Anders Warming and his team. It embodies the evolution of the MINI Family - "from the original to the original" - using the contour lines of various cars' profiles. The outlines of the individual cars use cylindrical extensions along various axes to produce a three-dimensional picture of MINI Design through the ages across a 6.5 x 6 x 2.7-metre surface. The contours of the classic Mini, framed by the silhouettes of the MINI Hatch, MINI Clubman, MINI Countryman and MINI Coupe Concept car - the most recent arrival - represent the centre point of the installation. The MINI Coupe Concept represents a foretaste of an innovative vehicle concept which is set to come onto the market before the year's end.
"MINI Sintesi" expresses the iconographic design language of the individual family members through the colouring of the contour lines. When it came to the colour scheme for the sculpture, Anders Warming turned to the original exterior paint shades of the individual models. The structure of the futuristic installation is a reference to a fundamental design principle of the MINI family: all family members emerge from the same core and share the same genes. However, they also display some very different and individual characteristics. And so the overall form of the installation changes as you move around it, encouraging the visitor to view it from various angles.
MINI La Strada
MINI has transposed a visionary take on the future of mobility into Milan's Triennale Design Museum. The Salone del Mobile sees the brand bringing the open road into the heart of the Museum - of which it has been a partner since its opening in 2007 - with its three-part installation "MINI La Strada." The themes of connectivity and electromobility are staged at various locations.
The installation at the entrance to the Triennale Museum gets the ball rolling with a light-hearted take on the Google Maps pin. At around three metres in height, the oversized pin is positioned opposite the entrance next to the partly mirror-coated letters YOU. This opening installation, which measures around 10 metres in length, stands on a white podium and greets visitors in front of the Museum. In the Museum corridor, meanwhile, awaits the MINI Coupe Concept in an abstract and graphically stylised urban landscape, which is later reprised in the exhibition area.
The potential of the MINI brand is laid out for all to see in the adjacent exhibition room. Framed by a three-dimensional, dirty-white urban surround, a pair of MINI Scooter E Concept studies are the main attraction. The two-wheelers - one a two-seater, the other designed progressively in the style of the "Mod" era - rotate on a revolving stage in the centre of the room, a mock-up roundabout on which they introduce the potential of future mobility. The scooter concepts allow riders to use their smartphone as an ignition key and can integrate infotainment, communication and navigation systems. The MINI Scooter E Concept is powered by an electric motor, which can be charged from any conventional power outlet using the charging lead supplied.
MINI Family Mobile
MINI is using Crane.tv's MINI Studio to create an unusual link between the two exhibition venues, the Universita degli Studi di Milano and the Triennale. A pair of specially marked MINI Countryman models converted into mobile studios will be doing the rounds in Milan, stopping by at various central locations. The Crane.tv team will interview top designers and exciting personalities from the design scene. The interviews and images from the installation will be broadcast in real time on various internet platforms.
One spot will be the "MINI Family Mobile" in the Zona Tortona, Studio Piú, Via Tortona 27. This unconventional installation is designed to highlight the MINI Family: MINI Hatch, MINI Convertible, MINI Clubman and MINI Countryman. Here visitors will find the MINI Family suspended from a towering crane. Gigantic lamps will illuminate each model during the twilight hours. The installation is meant to arouse enthusiasm and point up new perspectives - cars detached from the road as a driving force for innovative, creative thinking and experiences.