MINI explores future of mobility at London Design Festival

MINI marks the opening of ‘Dezeen and MINI Frontiers: The Future of Mobility’, an exhibition at designjunction, which explores how design, technology and science will shape the future of travel.

Visitors to designjunction, a flagship venue at London Design Festival (September 13-21), will see six of the UK’s most progressive designers come together to celebrate a collaboration between MINI and the online design magazine, Dezeen. The designers include Pernilla Ohrstedt, Matthew Plummer-Fernandez, Dominic Wilcox, Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, Lucy McRae and Keiichi Matsuda.

The designers come from a variety of disciplines, including performance arts, biology, architecture and film making – but whether it is a stained-glass car or a vacuum-packing installation, each designer has taken design inspiration from the new MINI Hatch.

Cars of the future to behave like living organisms

Daisy Ginsberg combines design with synthetic biology.  Her belief is that car manufacturers will increasingly use natural or genetically modified materials in car design. “They already use natural plastics like chitin”, she says. According to Ginsberg’s research, cars of the future could be just like living organisms, mutating to suit the requirements of the driver and adapting to the surrounding environment.

World’s first stained-glass car, with a bed inside

Inventor Dominic Wilcox takes the safety guarantee of driverless cars and demonstrates the scope for creative car design. As such, Wilcox has made a car entirely of stained glass, inspired by the windows of Durham Cathedral. As glass becomes increasingly ubiquitous in technology, Wilcox’s work implies that the cars of the future could even become entirely responsive vehicles.

Cars digitally personalised with augmented reality

Designer Keiichi Matsuda showcases a short film which shows the possibilities of augmented reality in the future, including how digital traffic information and road signs, which are personal to each driver, could be super-imposed onto cars. With augmented reality apps currently in use and the intelligent contact lens already in development, Matsuda’s future is not far away. 

Vacuum-packing installation prepares people for space travel

Lucy McRae is a body architect who has trained in classical ballet and interior design.  Her installation piece is a speculative vacuum chamber in which participants’ bodies are prepared for space travel.  McRae’s idea is based upon the knowledge that astronauts can suffer from osteoporosis, a symptom of zero gravity environments.  As space travel is sure to become more commonplace over the coming century, her design aims to contend with this issue.

Super-intelligent ‘bobblehead’ that personalises driving

Matthew Plummer-Fernandez has imagined and designed the first interactive bobblehead. His concept is inspired by the commonplace dashboard figurines which, in the future, could become a driver’s intelligent companion: they can be connected to the car’s GPS, can offer tips to the driver according to driving style and speed, and can act as speakers for a hands-free phones.  These ‘bobbleheads’ can store the information and be transported to a different vehicle, thus ensuring that every driving experience is bespoke.