jessica charlesworth

Nomads, mini-ness & infoscapes – MA RCA project with BMW MINI

bmw mini logo

An industry project with Design Interactions and BMW MINI, we were asked by  to imagine new scenarios for the Mini in relation to information landscapes. And how the specific character of the Mini could be reflected in its interactions with an information landscape and any necessary devices and services.
In collaboration with Michael Burton and Marei Wollersberger

BRIEF – Nomads, mini-ness & infoscapes

Cars no longer simply travel across geographic and spatial landscapes, they also traverse information landscapes. The tendency though, is to adapt existing objects like phones, TVs, DVD players, an GPS navigation devices for use in the car without really changing the nature of the experience. What if the car itself became an interface, would this suggest new devices, new uses for the car, or even new relationships between people, cars, and environments?

Think of the driver as a nomad using their Mini to navigate, experience and enjoy the information landscape… what kind of relationship to it would the Mini provide? How would they access it? What tools would they need? How would it differ throughout the day/night and from person to person? How could they do all this in a very ‘Mini’ way?

The MINdIviduals Concept


Entitled The MINIdividuals our concept was built on a ‘Mini buyer’ chart from 1977 and chose extreme characters that expressed our interpretation and built on the Mini brand/buyer types. We picked extreme characters to help us extract the eccentricities that are found in everyone. We designed individual interfaces to each character but we feel that the systems, services and devices could have applications for all in diluted formats.
In all our scenarios the Mini is used to aid a transition, sometimes providing a stage, a friend or a vehicle to connect communities in their widest sense.

MINI Theatre

drag piccadilly

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Our first example is a drag queen. This we felt compliments the cheeky side of mini. The design process considered the Mini beyond a car to consider its multi functions for a nomad drag queen. Consequently the car was considered as a dressing room, a business base, a marketer and a stage. As well as enriching the internal space of the car we used the Mini to influence the digital landscape, exterior environment and a community of people – in this case an audience.

MINI Entrepreneur

mini dog couple walking

Mini party in the forest!

In this context we imagined what might happen with the future of Mini when fuel would become more expensive and driving long distances became even more of a luxury and only available to a select few. The concept focuses on the Mini becoming less of a product and more of a service.

The entrepreneur offers his fun and innocent-looking minis as a service to provide cheeky and naughty adventures. His service would create a new avenue for those who want new and exciting experiences. Consequently targeting those who desire to spice up their lives. We imagined that the entrepreneur could create an online service that people would pre register. They will then be contacted by text at random and told to follow instructions to take part in a mystery tour to a concealed destination. The Mini would act as a communicator and mystery tour operator in one.

MINI Alter Ego

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mini michael caine

This scenario explores how the fresh character of the Mini can work as a midlife crisis remedy. The protagonist is a man leading a family life in the suburbs, who wishes to be like Michael Caine. The Mini acts as platform for his Alter Ego. On one hand, it allows the driver to express himself by providing him with all necessary tools for his transformation, enabling him to go on a “mission” like his hero. On the other, it compensates the shy nature of its owner by sending flirty messages to cars driving by when in a traffic jam. 






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