Mini Living returns at London Design Festival with "Urban Cabin"

MINI LIVING will return for the 15th edition of London Design Festival in September, to collaborate on the second Festival Landmark Project: URBAN CABIN.
The long-term research project by MINI explores the future of urban habitats based on creative use of space through innovative design, the principle of which made the MINI automotive brand so famous since 1959. This year, the MINI LIVING team has designed a micro-house, ‘URBAN CABIN’, as a research space for relevant urban needs and local identities in London. It consists of a clever module reflecting its environment and featuring distinct London characteristics created by local architect Sam Jacob.
MINI LIVING believes that the creative use of space is key to finding new approaches for the cities we love. “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.” says Oke Hauser, Creative Lead of MINI LIVING.
Externally, Jacob’s design is inspired by London’s rich history of geometric facades, while the interior is conceived as a flexible, imaginative space that pays homage to British eccentricity, further rooting the local fragment within specific traditions. It will be a place of exchange, bringing people together and replicating important elements of urban life: the shared kitchen refers to the importance of food markets, the micro-library responds to the decreasing number of public libraries.
“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.
The collaboration between MINI LIVING and Jacob is based on the idea of London as a city of contrasts between 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,” Jacob explains. “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.”
London Design Festival Director Ben Evans explains: “Everyone lives and works somewhere, but most of us rarely think about the spaces and places we inhabit. This landmark project, like all London Design Festival projects, challenges us to pause and consider how design frames and defines our living world." Landmark Projects are one of the highlights of London Design Festival programming. These public installations change the landscape of the Capital and represent the ambition, creativity and experimentation that London is so renowned for.
MINI LIVING will present additional URBAN CABIN installations in major global cities in the coming months, the next of which will be unveiled in New York during ‘Archtober’. The URBAN CABIN will be revealed at A/D/O, MINI LIVING’s first permanent, shared workspace in Brooklyn. A/D/O is a creative space consisting of a bar, restaurant, shared workspace and Fabrication Lab.
The installation will host events and workshops which will focus on the further development of the URBAN CABIN into an inhabitable concept for 2018.
Where and when:
Oxo Tower Wharf Courtyard, London, SE1 9PH
16-24 Sept. 2017