MINI Designs Affordable Housing Solutions With Unique Shared Living Concept
The car brand takes to architecture to look for a solution to this urban living issue
As the shortage of affordable housing in big cities becomes more prevalent, people have been forced to favor access over ownership and look at shared living as an alternative. Carmaker MINI used its minimal design approach to address one of the biggest challenges of urban living—affordable and attractive living spaces in overcrowded urban areas—with a concept apartment called MINI Living.
The 30-square-meter apartment debuted at the Salone de Mobile 2016 in Milan and redefines the meaning of micro-unit. Designed in collaboration with Japanese architecture firm ON Design, the apartment is made of a series of walls, each one made of fold-out modules with various functions, including a kitchenette, a work area and a music system.
According to MINI, the concept apartment is a logical extension of the brand’s mission to improve the quality of urban life. About this, Esther Bahne, Head of Brand Strategy and Business Innovation at MINI, explained at the project’s unveiling,
“The first car MINI produced in 1959 was about creative use of space and that’s actually what we still refer to today. We think the same solutions used then can help now with housing and with living.”
The installation in Milan is a standalone apartment, but its creators see it as a small part of a micro-neighborhood of similar apartments, where neighbors are able to share their modules, making it an alternative to urban anonymity and encouraging interaction and a sense of community.