Design, Interiors & Lifestyle Blog
Design, Interiors & Lifestyle Blog

Tag Archives: MINI LIVING

Small space living with MINI Living’s Urban Cabin at LA Design festival.

I’ve just returned from an amazing trip to sunny Los Angeles with MINI LIVING, to see their latest  Urban Cabin.

The last MINI LIVING Urban Cabin I saw was in London, and you can read all about it here.

MINI LIVING is a long term project by MINI that explores the different concepts of shared and small space living.

In an era of increased urbanisation and housing shortage, small space living solutions like these are becoming important.

The project explores a ‘conscious’ way of living, by reducing our carbon footprint whilst staying true to design. LA Design festival This time round, MINI LIVING worked with local LA based architect firm Freeland Buck, to showcase their Urban Cabin at LA Design Festival. The Urban Cabin is a mere 15 square metres and was constructed on top of the roof of an industrial building in ROW DTLA, the hub for LA design festival. I couldn’t get over this stunning far reaching view of Down Town LA, from the Cabin. MINI Urban Cabin LA Design festival There were 3 sections to the Urban Cabin.

Corrina Natter of MINI Living, designed the end sections of the cabin with a kitchen, shower room and bedroom. The frames were Aluminium with a plywood inner.

The cabin sat on a turquoise panel, reminiscent of a pool, with a ladder that led to a roof terrace. Here is the central section of the Urban Cabin, made of colourful graphic panels, and designed by Freeland Buck. I was in awe at how the panels filtered light, creating kaleidoscopic colours and patterns that looked different throughout the day. I couldn’t help but smile when I saw this bright and happy orange kitchen inside the Cabin. The rooms are multifunctional with perforated plywood walls that act like a pegboard with pegs holding up shelves.  I love how you can move the shelves around to customise your space. The light coming through the wall create such a lovely dappled effect on the furniture.

You can sleep under the stars by rolling the bed out. Doesn’t that sound so wonderful? It’s so cool that the Urban Cabin connects with its environment.The wall panels can open out like windows. Here it opens up to become a dining table. How wonderful it must be to see the sky when you shower. I was amazed how much could be packed into what seemed like a very small area. I’ve enjoyed following all of MINI LIVING’s innovative concepts so far.

Finally, the first inhabitable co-living space will open in Shanghai next year and I can’t wait to see it.

( All photography are by myself, Geraldine Tan, editor of Little big Bell. This is a paid partnership with MINI Living but all views are my own).

MINI Living BUILT BY ALL, Salone del Mobile MILAN 2018

It was an honour to be invited back to Milan, to experience MINI LIVING’s new concept for urban living.

I’ve been following MINI LIVING since their Breathe project in Milan and MINI LIVING URBAN CABIN at London Design festival.

Urbanisation and shortage of housing space is a true global issue, and I salute MINI LIVING for attempting to tackle this face on.

In all their projects, they have tried to address a more ‘conscious ‘ way of living, whilst still embracing design. BUILT BY ALL This year’s “BUILT BY ALL” installation was a visual feast of colours.

MINI LIVING collaborated with London architects Studiomama, to bring to live the concept of collaborative living within personalised spaces. The shared spaces comprise of an open gym  dining area, kitchen, and sitting area. There were 4 individualised living units with different colour schemes called Totems. Within very limited square footage, it was amazing to see how each individual living unit was brought to life.  I love how each BUILT BY ALL living unit had a special personalised room in line with the individual’s interest, a quiet sitting area and stairs that led up to a double bed. I absolutely adore this botanical lover’s yellow space, complete with a plant display booth, desk, and shelves. The yellow really evokes the warmth and happiness of a Summer’s day, whilst the greenery provided a contrasting calm. I found it really inspiring to see how small space living can be realised with well thought out design.  This blue Totem, a space for a music lover was one of my favourites. It’s wonderful to see how storage can be customised to an individual’s needs.  I was also impressed with this cool soundproof room. It truly reflects current Millennials within a digital age of You Tube and recording. This salmon pink living unit is for someone who loves sewing. here’s another view. This minty green living unit is for a ceramics lover. See how his / her beautiful vases and pots are displayed on custom built shelves. Adjacent to the installation was the FACTORY OF IDEAS by MINI LIVING, where visitors become an architect for the day, creating their own urban living space in the form of a personalised living unit. Here’s my colourful creation for BUILT BY ALL.

My important spaces are a workspace for blogging and prop storage, an area for product photography and my bedroom. After following MINI LIVING, I’m excited to hear that it may soon turn to a habitable reality in Shanghai.

I’m excited to see if there will also be new surprises.

I think the the future of homes may become ownerless, in a mobile population that value experiences over possessions.

Finally, I’m hoping that I’ll get to see and experience the new space in Shanghai soon.

( All photography and text are by Little Big Bell. This is a sponsored collaboration with MINI Living).

I have just returned from an amazing trip to Milan, with the car brand MINI. I was invited to view their MINI LIVING installation called ‘Breathe’ for Salone del Mobile 2017.

Urbanisation combined with a shortage of space for housing is fast becoming a global issue. To help address this issue, the project is exploring different concepts for shared space living, with an eye on also reducing our carbon footprint.

MINI has always had beautifully designed cars with a low carbon footprint, coming from its compact size and efficient engine. The MINI Living project is a testament to their brand value for a more ‘conscious’ way of living, whilst still embracing design. MINI LIVING was launched in 2016 under the creative direction of architect, Oke Hauser (on right).

This year the project commissioned Brooklyn based architect firm SO-IL, to help them showcase this architectural concept for future urban living. Ilias Papageorgiou (on left) represented SO-IL at the event. Here is the BREATHE installation for MINI LIVING. The theme for the build was ‘Air, Light and Water’.

The installation was pre-fabricated after design, then transported to Milan. This home ‘on the move’ could perhaps be a concept solution to the ever increasing global mobility and migration of society.

The structure comprised of a steel frame with a tough, porous white fabric, that filtered light and purified air. There were no bricks and mortar in sight.
The space is designed to be an interactive experience between the three people who would live there and with their surrounding environment.
Here is the simple but perfectly functional kitchen. The basin in the kitchen with its water sourced from the collected rainwater on the roof. The space is for three people to share.  See how the light filters through.
Does this concept challenge your view on material possessions?  Perhaps we should all be thinking of simplifying our lives with a capsule wardrobe? Bedroom number one. Here is the shower area.

This space really makes me think of how the lines between interaction and privacy becomes blurred.  It truly was a beautiful green space indoors. Here is bedroom number two which could also double up as the living room. Looks pretty cosy doesn’t it? At the top of the installation was an oasis of green. It was a communal space filled with oxygen giving plants, and a place for growing vegetables to encourage self sufficiency.

There was also a rain water collection system that channeled water into the home for usage. Alongside the MINI LIVING installation, were three other related commissions.

The first was a live creative project by Assemble, a collective of architects from London with their project called: ‘A factory as it might be’.

Assemble showcased how collaborative working could lead to the production of beautiful clay plates, using natural resources. The plates were then used at the dinner party that I attended.  Pigment dyes used to colour the clay plates. The second commission was the Conscious Café by Laila Gohar, which demonstrated how sustainable living can be a reality.

Wild mushrooms that grew indoors, later made it to our plates for dinner. The leftover fruits from harvest were dried in the sun to make fruit leathers for dessert.

The last commission was an interactive exhibition in a darkened room, playing with the elements of light, water and air by Zaven ( no photo shown here). Here is the installation by night. Doesn’t it look beautiful?

It was so wonderful to tour and experience the MINI LIVING space. It has definitely given me food for thought. Are those questions now swirling in your head too?

I was interested to read about a recent interview by MINI with Ilias Papageorgiou. He was asked whether he thought this collaboration with MINI LIVING brought the idea of sustainable communal space closer to reality.

In his answer, the designer argued that it had been an important exploration of relationships between people and between people and their environments. It was certainly a great platform for researching new ideas and this small beginning can ultimately have a large impact.

Finally, I would love to know what you think. Do you feel that there may be elements here that are a future vision of our homes? If so, what would you like to take with you?

( All photography are by Geraldine Tan, editor of Little Big Bell. This is a sponsored collaborative post with MINI, but all views and opinions are my own).

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