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Mini Countryman

Timbaland, indoor forests, and designer interpretations at Mini's Milan launch event for their new family-sized car

by Paolo Ferrarini in Design on 15 April 2010

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Since its debut at the Geneva Motor Show, the general public hasn't had a chance to see and be touched by the new Mini Countryman, the first "big" Mini. But during Milan Design Week, the new car is taking center stage with a series of events, installations at State University and the Triennale Design Museum, as well as a picnic party in Zona Tortona. At more than four meters long and equipped with four doors and four-wheel drive, the new model hits dealerships this September.

Part of the festivities at the recent crowded party, Michelle Branch revealed an ongoing collaboration with Timbaland—all within a beautiful indoor garden and a mysterious forest, where Dsquared, Missoni, Fendi and Maarten Baas interpreted four different cars. Each designer packed the car as if for a weekend trip, in keeping with “The Getaway Car" tagline.

The concept for the installation provides an occasion to experience the car as a living object, not simply as a piece of design. As Mini Design's General Manager Gert Hildebrand told CH, "this car needs to be experienced, not only admired." The design is in fact surprisingly convincing, with every detail very distinctive and lots of innovative functions to discover.

At State University (one of Milan’s hidden architectural jewels), the installation plays entirely with the idea of the number four, considered the interpretive key of this model. Displayed inside this singular "fourank," a lighting system carefully designed to show off its lines illuminates the car.

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Mini, along with the Triennale Creative Set conceived as the space of creativity which engages the public in a journey through the iconic elements of the Countryman—at the end the vehicle appears.

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