MA in Transportation Design

Vehicle Interior (2010)

"Designing with Materials" (in collaboration with BMW/MINI Design)

What do customers expect from their vehicles? What will they need or expect from a MINI interior in the future? Requirements like customisation, connectivity, seamless user interaction and environmental aspects are closely linked with the materials that will be used in future interiors. This creates new demands on designers. The approach in this project was to consider advanced materials and their properties right from the beginning of the design process and not as a trim option applied to the finished design.

Students from Umeå Institute of Design have been creating visionary interior design concepts for MINI by using a material driven and experimental approach. The course started with material and trends research, where trends and potentially interesting materials were identified and investigated further.
Advanced and multifunctional materials were then used in the ideation phase and throughout the project - looking into how their properties can influence shape, function and character of future MINI interiors.

Hyoungsoo Kim (South Korea) is drawing his inspiration from architect Santiago Calatrava. His concept "When Calatrava meets MINI" is featuring architectural inspiration and is focussed on being lightweight. Wires from different material were suggested by him to create structure and surfaces - such offereing a lightweight approach to Interior structures. Hyoungsoo Kim's concept is built around the keywords "wave", "linear" and "reflection" that he identified after an analysis of Calatrava's work.

Kosin Voravattayagon (Thailand) is suggesting a drastic reduction in size and weight in his "MINI Diet" concept with the aim to maximize the interior space while minimizing the exterior size. By using smart materials such as sprayable non-woven fibres and spacer fabric the number of interior parts can be reduced. This also influences the the thickness of parts such as IP, seats or doortrim. As a result, his proposal is a 3 meter long 4 seater (with an equal interior space as today's MINI one) which is allwoing a high level of interior customization and exchangeability.

Son Wan-Ryeol's (South Korea) concept is based around a MINI BUS which allows changing the driving position using flexible material: His basic layout is featuring 6 seats when a user drives on the road. In case the user needs to transport more luggage, she or he can form space for it using the flexible material. Even when going out or when the vehicle is parked, the passengers can relax as a group in the ‚lounge mode‘ of the bus - a campsite inside the vehicle with flexible material going from door insert to door insert.
A lot of functional area is offered to the user by moving the seats to the back. On the bottom surface, there is a long rail which holds the seat frame. Using this rail system, the user can change the inside seat position depending on the desired luggage or lounge mode. All surfaces are designed using very lightweight shapes and using the flexible material.

Travis Vaninetti's (U.S.A.) " MINI Cooper Farfield" is utilizing natural memory foam to envelop the interior - such creating feelings of warmth, comfort, and freedom. The natural canvas body wraps around the door panel, bringing harmony with the exterior and interior environments. Retractable, pressure-sensitive mounds in the floor replace traditional driving pedals, offering a soft feel and a cohesive interior design language. The Spherical Interaction System (SIS) provides necessary information and media access through an interactive globe acting as the heart of the roadster. The SIS is accessed by the sphere in the center armrest, which functions much like a track-ball of a computer mouse.

Project Details:

Duration: 10 weeks (week 40 - 50, 2010)
Participants: 9 international students attending the second year of our TD programme

Supporting designers from MINI:
Oliver Sieghart, Head of Interior Design at MINI
Anna Diermeier, Senior Material Designer at MINI

Supporting UID staff:
Demian Horst, Programme Director for TD Education UID
Daniela Rothkegel, PhD student at UID (lectures & tutoring)
Tony Catignani, Lecturer (tutoring)
Kristin Fottner, Program Assistant for TD Education UID (project responsible, tutoring)

Special Thanks to Oliver Sieghart and Anna Diermeier for their invaluable support on site in Umeå during reviews and via web meetings.
Also a special thanks to Annette Baumeister and to Daniela Rothkegel, whose great initiative established the contact to make this collaboration project happen in the first place.


Amo Gill MINI interior

With his "MY MINI" project Amo Gill (UK) is proposing an interior which is aimed at enhancing user experince and indivuality, featuring liquid wood, folded paper and interactive materials, such as flexible OLED screens, electro-chromatic textiles and augmented reality as "key materials". The highly technological part of the concept is countered by a playful and lively design language. Liquid wood and folded paper were chosen to be used within the interior for natural warmth and a high haptic value as well as structural purposes.

Florian Konrad's (Germany) puristic concept "LOVE HURTS" is an interior for an all electric MINI of the near forture. It is considering changes in use resutling in longer product lifecycles while catering a demand for increased durability and serving a high level of customizability. The interplay of simple main bodies with rich details on secondary elements, revives the simplicity and attention to detail of the original MINI in a contemporary interpretation. The concept is based around six core themes: "your story", "low res", "ostentatious boudoir", "optical allusions", "structural patterns" and "modern classics".

With his concept for a 2 seater Jan Christian Osnes (Norway) is proposing a small, agile car with a MINI attitude where essential design elements of the exterior are being pulled into the interior to achieve a more complete relation of out and inside. The airvents and loudspeaker are integrated within four large circles placed in each corner of the interior. These circles are connected with the tail- and headlights through extruded tubes, mostly hidden by the wrapping exterior. The result is a surrounding experience of air and sound together with other smart, integrated design sulutions like the detachable Ipod docking loudspeakers and the dashboard handbag-trolley or the unique pebble keys which are different for each vehicle.

Sae Kyoung An (South Korea) is approaching the topic of car sharing in her concept " Share your MINI" wich is intended to be used by carpools as well as sharing services.
Her proposed interior comes without any entertainment electronics such as radio, CD player or integrated navigation but instead is providing a platform for the user's personal smart phone.
Each customer can chose which button he or she wants to use for a certain purpose and configure the IP. Once the buttons to control lights, ventilation or volume are set, the smart phone will save and remember the individual setting. So, the second time the user returns to any shared MINI and puts their phone in the station, she or he will see exactly the same personalized setting and therefore feel that she or he is driving her or his very own, special car.

The "MINI CITY" project by Youngjun Byun (South Korea) is evolving around a city commuter using innovative materials in the interior. Temperature sensitive glass and lighting material were used to increase safety and create different moods in the car. The 2 seater electric vehicle is designed to be used in the big cities such as New York or Stockholm. The interaction concept of the interior is explained in the video above.