By Amy Frearson
Installed inside a former factory for Milan design week, MINI Living – Built By All comprises four compact living spaces that are all tailored towards different lifestyles.
The aim is to show how even the most basic of homes could be adapted to better suit its owner.
“Today’s standardised housing market is limited in its ability to meet the requirements of the individual,” explained Oke Hauser, creative lead for MINI Living.
“We believe that ultimately the quality of a living space is determined by how well the residents identify with their home,” he said. “MINI Living – Built By All turns people into active creators and puts them at the heart of the design process.”
MINI Living is an initiative set up by the automotive company to explore the future of city living. MINI has previously worked with a range of architects and designers, including Asif Khan and Sam Jacob, to create experimental installations.
For this installation, the company asked Studiomama founder Nina Tolstrup to explore the “creative use of space”. The results are four capsule homes that match in size, but feature contrasting colours, layouts and furnishings.
A lemon-yellow unit features shelves lined with decorative objects and an assortment of plants, designed to suit a botanical illustrator, while the pink unit accommodates a studio for a pattern cutter, featuring ample storage for textiles and a functional workstation.
The blue unit is designed for a music producer, so features a sound-proof recording room and shelves that are perfectly sized to hold records. And the final unit, which is green, is adapted to accommodate a pottery collector.
The space also features a range of communal facilities, including a large turquoise kitchen and dining area, a gym and a cinema space.
MINI describes the installation as a “living micro-neighbourhood in an old factory hall”. The idea is that this type of setup could be created inside large unused buildings, to help alleviate the housing crisis affecting many of the world’s cities.
Each unit features curtains and screen with different levels of transparency, so occupants have control over their privacy.
“MINI Living provides creative solutions for collaborative urban living on a small footprint, but offering many possibilities and a high degree of flexibility,” said Esther Bahne, head of brand strategy and business innovation for MINI.
The exhibition also features a space called the Factory of Ideas, where visitors can make their own miniature living space. Small colourful totems can be used to customise these models, so each one is different.
MINI launched its MINI Living project in 2016 – and has since teamed up with Dezeen on a range of movies exploring the theme. This is the third installation the brand has created in Milan, following previous designs by SO-IL and On Design.
The brand’s first permanent project is currently being built in Shanghai.
MINI Living – Built By All is on show at Via Tortona 32 from 17 to 22 April for Milan design week.
Today, 20 April 2018, Dezeen will be hosting a panel discussion in the space with Nina Tolstrup and Oke Hauser, as well as Mario Minale of Minale-Maeda and Design Academy Eindhoven creative director Joseph Grima. It will be available to livestream via our Facebook page from 6pm.
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