Cars and design unite at Salone del Mobile in Milan

Amongst the many, many creative festivals around the world, the Salone del Mobile has maintained its position as one of the most significant. When it comes to spotting the latest trends in design, in new materials, in concepts, in people, the Milan design week in April is the place to visit. Here, the city transforms into a gallery with neighbourhoods opening their doors to welcome this creative energy.

As Design Talks has reported in the past, some of the more enlightened car companies have clocked onto the importance of participating here. Last year, for instance, Lexus sponsored three designers and a group of emerging creatives for a very intriguing display.

This year, in the Area Sciesa Tre in Via Amatore Sciesa, BMW will be displaying its latest collaborative work with the award-winning designer Alfredo Häberli. Under the banner precision and poetry the duo have pooled their shared passion for technical innovation and contemporary materials to create a multi-layered, poetically inspired installation that unites the visions and values of tomorrow’s mobility with very personal perspectives.

Häberli’s own recollections and experience of cars have inspired this piece. Against the background of highly automated control, the designer imbues the driving experience with new meaning and renders it tangible within an impressive spatial dimension.

At the centre of his journey into the immediate future of mobility is a large-scale, deliberately abstract object – the form cites the lightness of forward motion and design addresses pivotal values of future automotive design. The idea is that if technically everything is feasible, the luxury of movement can focus on the core statement, and mobility becomes carefree and communicative.

‘Alfredo Häberli approaches our design philosophy with an ingenious passion and conceptual clout,’ says Adrian van Hooydonk, BMW Group design director. ‘I always enjoy philosophising with Alfredo on design and mobility, and I’m delighted to see these ideas now taking shape in an installation as well.’

Elsewhere, sister marque MINI has teamed up with Spanish artist and designer Jaime Hayon for a glimpse into urban mobility in the future. On the basis of the new MINI Citysurfer, a flexible, individual electric kick scooter concept, Hayon creates a fanciful experience world that showcases his personal take on future mobility, on exhibit at the Laboratorio Bergognone in Via Bergognone 26.

Finally, Japanese carmaker Lexus will be showing a Journey of the Senses at Carrozzeria Tonreria in the Zona Tortona. The installation sees French product and space designer Philippe Nigro creating a setting featuring food by the celebrated Japanese Michelin star chef Hajime Yoneda. The idea is to stimulate the senses, enabling people to experience unexpected new connections and insights. Sounds exciting…

Salone del Mobile is from 14 – 19 April in locations throughout Milan.

Read our previous reports from Salone del Mobile Milan

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