We always get to see the final product. We buy it, consume it but rarely do we ever see or question the process of its composition. The INTERNI Legacy exhibition staged by the renowned Italian design magazine INTERNI presented MINI as one of the main protagonists with the design installation COLOUR ONE for MINI by the Dutch designers Scholten & Baijings at the Cortile del 700 of Milan University (Università degli Studi di Milano). The installation comprised a MINI ONE which had been deconstructed down to the last single component to further investigate and explore every aspect of its design. Through this process, they were able to reveal the essence of each part and began giving new meaning to each component in order to put it back together. Using color, texture and new materials, they began giving the MINI ONE an entirely fresh perspective to car design.
Scholten & Baijings gave each component a new autonomy and began treating each as its own unit, creating a diverse and rich vocabulary to the collection of parts. Pieces such as the transparent tires made of cast resin, which were produced in collaboration with industrial designer Vincent de Rijk were reworked. Working through the car's history and cultural value, the designers added further special components such as the seats and seat belts, bags integrated into the frame and a sun visor that doubles as a clutch; these elements not only speak about the car features but also augment the process as a cultural narrative of our mobility. The MINI ONE is a product of its past, present and future.
Has this project and process perhaps sparked a new methodology to car design and customization? Fresh thinking always comes from the cultivation of dialogue between brands and external designers. Fostering such a dialogue is not only a nutritional benefit to the brand but adds a competitive advantage in the market.
Anders Warming, Head of MINI Design goes on to say ''Indeed, the new functions that Stefan Scholten and Carole Baijings have thought up and the way in which they approach materials makes for a vast reservoir of ideas that has inspired our work from day one.''