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MINI UK presents the MINI LIVING URBAN CABIN: a communal modular-structure on the Southbank, in partnership with Sam Jacob Studio. Landmark project at London Design Festival 16 – 24 September.

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MINI UK presents the MINI LIVING URBAN CABIN: a communal modular-structure on the Southbank, in partnership with Sam Jacob Studio. Landmark project at London Design Festival 16 – 24 September.


As increasing city urbanisation makes private space more and more of a luxury, the demand for multi-purpose communal spaces, co-housing and sharing communities rises – paving the way for brands like MINI LIVING to provide innovative solutions.


MINI LIVING is a long-term research project into the future of urban habitats, exploring how creative use of space through innovative design can support our cities and the needs of the people living in them. It is creative use of space through design that has made the MINI brand so famous since 1959.


For the 15th year of London Design Festival, MINI LIVING presents URBAN CABIN: a micro-house on Southbank for city dwellers to learn from each other and exchange resources.


URBAN CABIN is a modular structure, designed in the MINI LIVING studio, made from a reflective surface covered with copper mesh, which reflects the rich contrasts of its London surroundings. Sam Jacob Studio was commissioned by MINI LIVING to build two modules which represent London’s Character; a shared kitchen, symbolizing the importance of food markets in modern culture, and a micro-library where visitors are encouraged to share books in a city where the number of public libraries are falling every year. Jacob’s contribution to this project draws upon his expertise in using design to build relationships to make it a place of exchange and bring people together.


The proportion of adults visiting public libraries in England has fallen by almost a third over the last decade. In a bid to resurrect the library as a space to learn, borrow and meet people, a mixture of modern design books and timeless classics reflecting the past 400 years of London life will be in the space’s library. From 20th – 24th September, book lovers will be able to come together to swap personal favourites for London themed books from the last 400 years.


MINI LIVING addresses one of the most pressing challenges of urban living – the shortage of attractive, affordable housing – and offers a potential solution in the form of a modern shared-living concept. “In an increasingly generic urbanised world, we can use design to turn spaces into useful and significant places for the city; places that offer specific local characteristics and functions to create a unique identity on various experiential layers.” .” says Oke Hauser, Creative Lead of MINI LIVING.


“The mirrored surface of URBAN CABIN is playing with the reflections of its surrounding, while the interior is an interactive space designed to understand and evaluate the personal needs of the London urbanite. It´s crucial to our design process that we truly understand what makes living in this specific city unique” explains Corinna Natter, Experience Designer MINI LIVING.


The collaboration between MINI LIVING and Jacob is based on the idea of London as a city of contrasts between past and present. “I've always been interested in combinations, juxtapositions and fusions; in how projects can draw on different references and forge alternative possibilities,” Jacob explains. “Often this means bringing apparent opposites together to create unexpected alliances and design languages. The aim is to open up the possibilities of design while also making reference to the world around us.”


MINI LIVING will present additional URBAN CABIN installations in major global cities in the coming months, the next of which will be unveiled in New York during ‘Archtober’. The URBAN CABIN will be revealed at A/D/O, MINI LIVING’s first permanent, shared workspace in Brooklyn. A/D/O is a creative space consisting of a bar, restaurant, shared workspace and Fabrication Lab. The installation will host events and workshops which will focus on the further development of the URBAN CABIN into an inhabitable concept for 2018.


London Design Festival Director Ben Evans explains: “Everyone lives and works somewhere, but most of us rarely think about the spaces and places we inhabit. This landmark project, like all London Design Festival projects, challenges us to pause and consider how design frames and defines our living world.”



Key information:
16-24 SEPTEMBER 2017
Book swaps: 20th – 24th September

About London Design Festival
Established in 2003 by Sir John Sorrell CBE and Ben Evans, London Design Festival celebrates and promotes London as the design capital of the world. 
London Design Festival has since earned the reputation as a key calendar moment of London’s autumn creative season, alongside London Fashion Week, Frieze Art Fair and the London Film Festival, attracting the greatest thinkers, practitioners, retailers and educators to the capital, in a citywide celebration.



MINI LIVING is an initiative launched in 2016 as a creative platform for MINI to develop architectural solutions for future urban living spaces.

Last year, MINI LIVING showcased visionary concepts for shared and collaborative living/lifestyles/working in urban areas through the installations MINI LIVING – Do Disturb (at the Salone del Mobile in Milan), MINI LIVING – Forests (at the London Design Festival 2016) and MINI LIVING – Breathe -, which explored a shared living space (at Milan’s Salone del Mobile).

2017 saw the launch of MINI LIVING’s first permanent shared workspace in Brooklyn, New York. A/D/O is a creative space in Greenpoint, Brooklyn dedicated to exploring new boundaries in design. At its heart is the Design Academy, which offers a range of programming to professional designers, intended to provoke and invigorate their creative practice.  The space also features a restaurant, bar, workspace, fabrication labs and public areas.


About Sam Jacob Studio
Sam Jacob Studio is a collaborative practice working across architecture, design and urbanism. We bring creative design thinking to projects for a wide range of cultural and commercial clients.

With over 20 years of industry experience, the studio operates on design projects at urban and architectural scales as well as devising objects and strategies.

Our work is based on a deep understanding of design’s social and cultural significance, evidenced by Sam’s roles as a columnist for the world's most influential design website Dezeen, a design critic for Art Review and contributing editor for Icon as well as his positions as Professor of Architecture at UIC and Director of Nightschool at the Architectural Association, London

Our design approach goes beyond traditional practice. Alongside design we help clients understand the potential of design to engage with the public and markets, developing approaches that use design as a way to build relationships, experiences and so create social, cultural and economic value.


The BMW Group
With its four brands BMW, MINI, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad, the BMW Group is the world’s leading premium manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles and also provides premium financial and mobility services. As a global company, the BMW Group operates 31 production and assembly facilities in 14 countries and has a global sales network in more than 140 countries.

In 2016, the BMW Group sold approximately 2.367 million cars and 145,000 motorcycles worldwide. The profit before tax was approximately € 9.67 billion on revenues amounting to € 94.16 billion. As of 31 December 2016, the BMW Group had a workforce of 124,729 employees.

The success of the BMW Group has always been based on long-term thinking and responsible action. The company has therefore established ecological and social sustainability throughout the value chain, comprehensive product responsibility and a clear commitment to conserving resources as an integral part of its strategy.



MINI Press Office Contacts:

Chris Overall                                                          
MINI Media Relations Manager
Tel: 07815 370990                                               


Piers Scott
General Manager, Product and Internal Communications
Tel: 07815 378190                                


Graham Biggs                
Corporate Communications Director
Tel: 07815 376867


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