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After the successful unveiling of the new MINI Convertible this spring, MINI dips its toe into the stylistic future of travel. Teaming up with renowned brands Airstream and Republic of Fritz HansenTM, the carmaker has embraced the theme of "mobile living" in developing an innovative design study with a down-by-the beach feel. The collaboration has spawned a unique combination of a 6.80-metre-long Airstream trailer and a modified MINI Cooper S Clubman, one whose appeal extends beyond the reaches of the watersports scene. Danish furniture design brand Republic of Fritz HansenTM has kitted the iconic American travel trailer out with new interpretations of design classics and given both the trailer and the MINI a revamped look from the wheels up. Details include the use of surfer-dude "wetsuit" neoprene, fresh colours and flower prints, and the option of opening up the trailer on one side and making yourself comfortable on a built-in sun-bathing bed. This mobile "home from home" feeds that mythical dream of surfing and watersports enthusiasts: always hunting for the perfect wave, at home anywhere around the world. It must be the ultimate fusion of design and function.
Since it is not ordinarily available with a trailer coupling, the MINI Cooper S Clubman had to be specially modified to fulfil its role in this adventurous concept.
The design study will be unveiled to the public for the first time at the INTERNI Design Energies exhibition taking place during the internationally renowned Salone del Mobile furniture show in Milan on 22 - 27 April 2009.
The collaboration was underpinned by a passion for design and an eye for detail shared by all three brands. Mobility and the interaction with nature provided a twin-pronged focus for their endeavours. The world of watersports and the yearning of surfers for absolute freedom and harmony with their surroundings offered the perfect inspiration for the design study.
The trailer and the MINI form a single unit. Their design is a clear nod to the aesthetics of watersports and the materials used by those involved.
The trailer allows you to experience every corner of the earth within your own four walls. Inside, fresh takes on design classics by Republic of Fritz HansenTM help you get your breath back after an encounter with the waves. The SuperellipseTM table, ringed by four Series 7TM chairs, makes an ideal venue for a team snack, while a pair of SwanTM chairs in the corner offer an additional relaxation space. The floor of the trailer has a high-class "yacht-deck" wood panel look and the rear wall is decorated with floral prints and two surfboards halves, which double up as shelving. Elsewhere, an electric motor allows one side of the trailer to be folded down. This reveals the integrated "daybed", an invitation to take in some rays if ever there was one. Mild summer evenings by the trailer are also something to be enjoyed at every opportunity, of course, and two EggTM chairs and a side table have been specially developed for the job in hand. Meanwhile, neoprene accents on the outer walls of the trailer are another salute to the sport of surfing.
MINI Cooper S Clubman.
The design of the MINI distinguishes itself through the clean lines and the intensive green trim. The design of the Airstream trailer matches that of the MINI Cooper S Clubman thus creating a uniform overall picture. As ever, the devil is in the detail, with the wetsuit effect added to the roof, below the bumpers and on the side of the car. Plus, green trim can be found on the window moulding, headlights, bonnet and radiator grille surround. These elements are complemented by the contrasting white of the exterior mirrors, wheel rims, side panels and bonnet stripes. Taken as a whole, this car is every inch beachside eye candy. A special roof rack offers secure transportation for the surfboard in Republic by Fritz HansenTM design and is sure to be a hit with anyone heading for the waves. The impressive details continue inside the car. Neoprene makes another appearance on the seats, dashboard and side panelling, among other places, while the rear seat bench has been removed and the boot stripped out. For any watersports addict with a storage problem, the four specially made securing shells with purpose-built mounts for sports kit will represent unbridled luxury; diving gear, including flippers, a mask, wetsuit and oxygen tanks, can all be integrated here.
"At MINI we have a long and, above all, successful tradition of collaborations," explains Dr Wolfgang Armbrecht, Senior Vice President Brand Management MINI. "We like to work with brands which share our passion for design. Collaborations fire our creativity. With the "MINI and Airstream, designed by Fritz Hansen" concept, we are looking to show our customers new and innovative angles for the MINI Clubman and to cast a visionary eye into the mobility of the future."
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