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Mini at the Salone del Mobile, Milan
by John O'Brien   
'Mini Sintesi' by Anders Warming and team. Click for larger images
Light-hearted take on Google maps forms part of the "MINI La Strada" installation
Three part "MINI La Strada", encompasses a series of suspended Mini models
One of the pair of 'Crane.tv' mobile studios

Mini is using this year's Salone del Mobile in Milan to showcase its 'flair for design.' As with previous years, Mini will be using sites at Milan's Universit脿 degli Studi and the Triennale Design Museum for its installations that highlight the brand's 'Creative Use of Space' philosophy.

"MINI La Strada" Family mobile illuminated at night
'Mini Sintesi' in its Università degli Studi surroundings

The running theme between the two works is the progression of the brand, from its roots, through to the future of mobility. The Universit脿 degli Studi instillation is entitled 'Mini Sintesi' and was initiated by Italian design magazine INTERNI under the watchful eye of Gilda Bojardi. 'Mini Sintesi' is a 3-D sculpture created by Head of Mini Design Anders Warming and his team. It is said to embody 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 extended along various axes to produce a three-dimensional picture of Mini Design through the ages. 'Mini Sintesi' supposedly expresses the 'iconographic design language of the individual family members'. The color of each extrusion is a reference to the original exterior paint shades of the individual models, whilst the structure of the installation is a reference to a fundamental design principle of the Mini family: that all family members emerge from the same core and share the same genes.

The second installation is a look at the future of mobility, set in Milan's Triennale Design Museum. The Salone del Mobile sees Mini 'bringing the open road into the heart of the Museum' 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 meters 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 meters in length, stands on a white podium and greets visitors in front of the Museum. Inside the Museum is a Mini Coupe Concept in an abstract and graphically stylized urban landscape.

Elsewhere in the museum, a pair of Mini Scooter E Concept studies are another 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 center of the room. The installation is a mock-up of a traditional roundabout on which they introduce the potential of future mobility.

A final spot is set aside for the 'Mini Family Mobile'. Set in the Zona Tortona, Studio Pi煤, Via Tortona 27, this installation is designed to highlight the entire Mini Family and here, visitors will find an example of each Mini suspended from a towering crane. Powerful lamps are used to illuminate each model during the twilight hours. The installation is said to arouse enthusiasm and point up new perspectives.

In addition to the static installations, Mini are using a pair of Countryman models converted into mobile television studios to create a link between the two exhibition venues. The teams manning these cars will interview designers and personalities from the design industry during Design Week. The interviews and images from the installation will be broadcast in real time on various internet platforms, including Mini Space, Youtube and Crane.tv.