London is running out of space. You can see it in the houses turned into flat shares, the flats turned into restaurants and the number of people seriously thinking about living on a canal boat. This is something that has been playing on the mind of car manufacturers MINI over the past year.
MINI first launched its long term research project MINI LIVING in 2016. The programme explores future of urban habitats based on creative use of space through innovative design.
This year, MINI LIVING is set to return to London Design Festival 2017. Outside the Oxo Tower MINI LIVING will be showcasing its land mark second project MINI LIVING: URBAN CABIN and it sounds pretty great.
The cabin has been created in collaboration between MINI and Sam Jacob Studio in London. It has been designed to act as a research space for city dwellers and locals, featuring a shared kitchen and a micro-library housing literature that focuses on London life such as Dickens, Keats, and Shakespeare as well as design bestsellers.
Oke Hauser, Creative Lead of MINI LIVING said: “In an increasingly generic urbanised world, we can use design to turn spaces into useful and significant places for the city; places that offer specific local characteristics and functions to create a unique identity on various experiential layers.”
From the outside, Jacob’s design reflects its London surroundings, taking cues from the geometric facades seen all over town.
Inside, URBAN CABIN has a playful British feel, paying homage to eccentricity and tradition. The micro library draws attention to the decreasing number of public libraries available in London and the kitchen is a nod to the importance of food markets in the city.
“The mirrored surface of URBAN CABIN is playing with the reflections of its surrounding, while the interior is an interactive space designed to understand and evaluate the personal needs of the London urbanite. It´s crucial to our design process that we truly understand what makes living in this specific city unique,” explains Corinna Natter, Experience Designer MINI LIVING.
Jacob explains that the idea behind MINI LIVING was to focus on London as a city both in the past and present:
“I've always been interested in combinations, juxtapositions, and fusions; in how projects can draw on different references and forge alternative possibilities. Often this means bringing apparent opposites together to create unexpected alliances and design languages. The aim is to open up the possibilities of design while also making reference to the world around us.” He said.
The landmark project MINI LIVING: URBAN CABIN will appear at the London Design festival from 16 – 24 September.