Auto (Mobile) Designs @ Salone Milan 2105

Auto (Mobile) Designs @ Salone Milan 2105

salone milan 2015 automobile

There was a time when car makers came to Milan merely to observe. A handful of the more advanced designers would visit the Salone to be inspired by the wider creative community.

However, this has been steadily changing, with an increasing number of car manufacturers partaking in the last few years – with mixed results.

You might ask why the car manufacturer’s go to Milan, spending serious amounts of money to buy a presence for the five days of activity.

Being the largest trade fair of its kind in the world, Milan Design Week typically welcomes a number of automotive design teams presenting their visions in unorthodox ways.

Because of the level of innovation, vision, and prestige surrounding the Milan Furniture Fair, many automakers use this week-long event as a chance to build their brand.

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But is it all about building brand ? Is it to get mileage in the press ? You hardly see any motoring journalists in Milan this week.

Or are they there because they want to attract new talent ?  Young designers with fresh ideas are hard to find – Top auto designers usually attended the world’s best design schools – before they were scooped up by the car makers.

Whilst most of the time, their creativity shows up atop four wheels, the Salone allowed them to displayed their artistic creations to large audience of design afficienados.

More and more car makers are treating the Salone more seriously. They know there is a long-time value in being there, and try to develop and improve year after year

And so, as ever, it was a mixed bag from the car makers in Milan.

Some truly get it ( like BMW, Hyundai, Audi, Toyota, Ford, Mazda ) and understand that in order to have an authentic presence here they need to do something more than simply try to flog their wares and create something truly original that, hopefully, shows the creativity of its designers outside the world of cars.

A number of key brands present in previous years, were absent from the 2015 Salone – Daimler Benz, Bentley, Renault, Nissan

General Motors, with the industry’s longest design studio traditions has yet to discover the Salone Milan magic.

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Fiat had a single Fiat 500 on show at a design magazines art installation in an off beat part of Milan


This year dedece ranked the participating Salone car manufacturers presentations in order of their impact / effort / concept development ……..

1 BMW Group ( BMW & Mini) / 2 Hyundai Group ( Hyundai Motors & Hyundai Card ) / 3 Ford / 4 Toyota Group ( Lexus & Boshoku ) / 5 Peugeot / 6 VW Group ( Audi, Lamborghini, Ducati & Italdesign Giugiaro ) / 7 Mazda / 8 Jaguar / 9 Land Rover / 10 Aston Martin / 11 Citroen

What they showed with their choice of collaborations – provides an insightful window into their philosophy.



1 BMW Group

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The BMW Group took on the theme of future mobility by engaging non-automotive designers in the dialogue.

BMW contributed its own installation art piece entitled “Spheres. Perspectives in Precision & Poetry for BMW designed by Alfredo Häberli.”

Zurich based designer Alfredo Haberli devised, together with the BMW Design team directed by Karim Habib and Martina Starke and under the general supervision of Adrian van Hooydonk, a beautifully visual installation

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Alfredo Haberli (l) with Martina Starke and Karim Habib

Spheres’ by Alfredo Häberli for BMW:  – Spheres’ is a study into the values of future mobility on a conceptual level.

Alfredo Häberli works on the belief that ‘silence, space and time’ are what constitute luxury in the future – that it is beyond the material dimension.

We are taken on a journey that begins with childhood memories, sketches and studies.

It ends with a large-scale model, a giant ten-meter teak sculpture that resembles the skeleton of an old ship discovered at the bottom of the ocean.

It leads to a spatial installation that allows personal thoughts on future mobility to be experienced in the present

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“Spheres” began as the speculative sketches of Alfredo Häberli, who eventually partnered with the BMW Design Team (headed by Karim Habib and Martina Starke) to produce his vision as a large-scale model.

The installation was based on the BMW Design theme of “Precision & Poetry,” and its focus–which is divided into four thematic elements (Spheres, Dwell, Couch, and Vessel)–is a wooden ribbed model that measures 30 feet in length by 12 feet in height.

“Through the abstract sculpture of a vehicle that projects the luxurious gliding of a sedan in the future, my vision becomes three-dimensional,” stated Häberli.

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It took Häberli a full six months to conceive of, design, and build this installation, which includes multiple sculptures, such as his “Take a Line for a Walk” seats designed by Häberli to complement the theme of the future of transportation.

The artist uses automotive design tools to crate new geometrical shapes to explore high-tech types of luxury, ones dependent on space and time.

His search for new forms of motion in forward-looking mobility scenarios is meant to inspire conversation and speculation

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Häberli refrains from dictating a single solution. Instead the designer examines the vessel, architecture and urban planning.

Here roads expand into the skies, they spiral around one another with no clear direction so that the journey itself becomes the focus

Vessels aren’t about dynamic driving alone, but offer enjoyment in the experience of travel – enjoyment in the now

Cities are built on sea, in the skies – it is a cinematic world evoking films like ‘Gattaca’ and ‘The Fifth Element’

This unusual but ingenious construction reflects on the future of mobility at a conceptual level.

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“Through the abstract sculpture of a vehicle that projects into the future the luxurious sail of a saloon, my vision becomes three-dimensional,” said Haberli, which thus covered BMW Design leitmotif “Precision and Poetry”.

The installation is divided into four thematic units (from “Spheres” to “Dwell” to “Couch” and “Vessel”) and calls for “a custom trip into the future of mobility,” etc.

Häberli worked closely with the team at BMW to unravel a range of scenarios that address driving in the future.

It was an inspiring study of how we could move from place to place – of our relationship with driving once the car becomes an autonomous object.

The display here addresses mobility in a much wider context, taking on the vessel, road structures, architecture and city planning.

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I always enjoy philosophising with Alfredo on design and mobility, and I’m delighted to see these ideas now taking shape in an installation as well,” said Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design.

For Karim Habib and his team, such projects impact on BMW design on an abstract level……… “It feeds into the act of automated driving. For a brand that has been associated with driving, what are the challenges and equally opportunities,’ he offers. ‘Our job as designers is to create an environment for when you’re not driving, and I’m super happy to be working in a time when we can do all this

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Location : Area Amateur Sciesa, 3



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At Mini’s presentation Urban Perspectives’ by Jaime Hayon for Mini: – there was everything except the car ( which were prominently placed outside the exhibition venue )

Spanish artist and designer Jaime Hayon embellished Mini’s latest CitySurfer with bold colours and textures, displaying the foldable scooter concept in a fictional city of marble roads and oversized road lamps.

Originally shown at the Los Angeles Auto Show, the CitySurfer, which the maker developed with Spanish designer and artist Jaime Hayon, is small kick scooter with a back-up electric drive.

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Designed to fold up into a package, the 40-pound CitySurfer will fit into the cramped cargo compartment of a four-wheeled Mini – or in a cargo compartment on a bus, train or even an aircraft, perhaps — letting a rider take it just about anywhere.

Mini dryly suggests the two-wheeler “presents an innovative concept providing increased flexibility for individual mobility in con-urbation areas.”

Hayon adds colour and texture – and a great dose of fun – to Mini’s small, foldable electric kick scooter concept.

Here they are displayed in an imaginary landscape of bold colours and shapes, of streets made of thick slabs of white marble, dots to direct the flow of traffic, giant copper street lamps along the route, oversized clothing and curious helmets

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jaime hayon (left) with anders warming, head of MINI design (right)

Jamie Hayon …  “I come from the world of art and design and the idea was to explore mobility in my accent, I wanted to create something more inspirational in terms of graphics and colour. I wanted to give the object a more fantastical look,”

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He says he wants to create a scenario for the future that isn’t cloaked in dark colours, one that is joyful

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For Hayon, materials had to be ‘noble’, so we have roads of marble, with furniture and ceramic objects.

The idea they gave me was to work on the object, but I also wanted to work on the context in which it is displayed,’ he says. ‘My work is about creating fascinating spaces‘”

This is what the artist calls his ‘urban jungle’.

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All this, however, without forgetting the true essence of MINI: thanks to its weight of about 18 pounds and folding structure, the scooter you can replace without difficulty, as it happens in the luggage compartment of the new 5-door MINI.

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Location : Laboratory Bergognone, via Bergognone 26



2 Hyundai Motors Group

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Moving beyond its first project, ‘Sculpture in Motion’, where 12,000 translucent spheres acted collectively as a screen occupying 1,000 square meters, the second part of Sculpture in MotionHelio Curve – adds a breath of life to the Salone, as Hyundai’s design philosophy is reinterpreted in natural flow and energy.

Helio Curve demonstrated Hyundai’s commitment to sharing and fostering design philosophy in all its forms

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Reuben Margolin (r) at Helio Curve presentation

This collaborative art work of Californian kinetic artist Reuben Margolin and Hyundai Motor Design Center, celebrated the beauty of continuous movement of the ‘living form’; how the way ‘movement of motion’ takes ‘tangible’ form while still retaining its natural energy and movement.

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The art work gives expression to the vitality, harmonious unity of inter-connectivity of the natural world reflecting Hyundai Motor’s unique design philosophy, ‘Fluidic Sculpture’, where the design process is always adaptive, flowing and inspired by nature.

Helio Curves is a kinetic installation, that celebrates the bond between the fluidity of the movements of nature and the automotive world.

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This complicated and beautiful kinetic art work was carefully designed by Californian kinetic artist, Reuben Margolin under complex mathematical design

Helio Curve recreated the movement of an ocean wave by suspending 400 open-celled tongue-and-groove wooden blocks within a five-meter cube, each block linked by string to an electrically-powered metal drive.

The individual blocks appear to be connected to form a wave over 3m high, which ebbs and flows in a continuous rhythms of ‘living motion’ that never repeats, highlighting the variability and harmonious flow of organic movement – and celebrating movement itself as an art form.

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“Sculpture in Motion 2.0-Helio Curve” underlined the commitment of the Korean Hyundai brand in the continual search for shapes not only functional, but also satisfying for aesthetics.

The work consists of a mix of lights, sounds and interactive media used to generate 3D images. The room lighting, casts a huge fluidic shadow, enhancing the experience even further.

Margolin describes the process of creating its wavy installations as the Act of “orchestrating the movement“, for example by regulating the interaction between different pulley systems in which each element plays an important role.

In order to give life to a fluid motion, the various chain reactions of the structure should succession smoothly and every single item must perform his task without errors.

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Hyundai Card

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Korean marque Hyundai’s unusual exhibition Money Card looked at how a financial company can connect with art and design by turning the use of money into an aesthetic experience

Here the company’s financial arm Hyundai Card unveiled Money designed to show how a credit card can express an individual lifestyle.

This is an interactive exhibition where visitors took away printouts in the form of sales receipts using the access cards at the entrance

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The printouts are meant to act as snapshots of Hyundai Card’s belief in the importance of design

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Below is one of the films shown in the Hyundai Money auditorium

Location : Art Point Room, Superstudio Più, Via Tortona 27



3 Ford

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Ford really wants to be taken seriously as a design company—their most recent presence at Milan Design Week muscled some serious talent to bring this point home, with interactive installations and conceptual designs.

Ford has had a presence at the Salone del Mobile, Milan’s enormous annual furniture fair, since 2000. Ford is clearly trying to aggressively shape their image.

Muscling their way into a furniture expo to talk about cars may seem heavy handed, but you can tell it’s an effort being pushed on all front and through all possible avenues.

For what it’s worth, Ford does not intend to go into furniture design—this was sort of a point of confusion during the panel discussion. People were asking, “so will these pieces be put into production?” and the design team chuckled, no.

The new Ford GT, unveiled earlier this year, attempts to transcend the simple idea of a car and turn it into an experience.

This year, the brand is not showcasing any particular product – though imagery of its forthcoming new model GT appears on its stand and on the outside of a light installation displayed in a square in the city

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Favilla: To Every Light a Voice was shown by Ford at the Piazza San Fedele, is a special installation built in tandem by Ford and a local architect, Attilo Stocchi and under the guidance of the Federlegno Arredo Eventi as partof Expo Milan 2015.

The immersive installation unfolds inside two large boxes.

The first examines the science of light amid a dazzling, reflective show;

The second box is curated by Ford’s in-house animation studio to offer visitors a unique, engaging product experience that showcases how they design shapes both form and function.

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On the outside was an abstracted form of the Ford GT, lit up by brilliant projections, bending and twisting light around the structure.

After watching the presentation, visitors could enter into the black boxy structure for the show “Favilla, Every Light a Voice.”

Standing inside the structure was like being underneath a glowing, dimly-lit geodesic dome. Once we were all in, the lights went dark, and a voice began to speak in Italian.

As it continued, the geodesic panels began to light up with images of forest, leaves, and abstracted light forms—it was a play of sorts, a light play in five parts. We left after the performance, dazzled.

For 2015 Salone, Ford is keen to show off its design talent this time through more ambiguous means, by inviting its in-house Ford designers from around the world to propose designs for non-automotive products, which are shared on the stand.

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We have an incredible amount of talent in our global design studios,” Moray Callum ( Fords head designer) said. “Salone del Mobile is the perfect forum to share some of that creativity, while also offering our designers an opportunity to get exposure to new ideas that will inspire future Ford design.”

The automaker’s 350 creative types were challenged to create objects based on the design philosophy for the newly introduced Ford GT.

The guiding principles behind the interior design philosophy for the all-new Ford GT are:

Clarity of intent – highlighting focused areas of functionality
Innovation – pushing the boundaries of innovation to develop new designs and keep changing the way the world moves
Connection – establishing a connection with the driver through more compact, more intuitive technology

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Where the process of building a new car can take years, Ford’s designers were only given a few months from concept to creation.

They were encouraged to follow secondary passions—for one designer, that passion was sailing. He created a minimal but grand structure to soar through the waters of his hometown.

Another designer created a Foozball table that would multifunction as a house plant (the grass in the bottom is real, and can help aerate a home).

At the end of the stretch, Ford received over 130 proposals and brought a handful of the best ones to life.

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Talks and discussions at the exhibition lounge in the Rho Fairgrounds was Fords’ other raison d’etre.

Speakers included Moray Callum, Vice President of Design for Ford Motor Company, Gus Desbarats, founder of design house The Alloy and Chairman of British Industrial Design Association, and Salvatore Ippolito, Twitter Italy Country Manager.

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A recent study showed that people thought the most innovative feature on a car was actually a cup holder.

Surveyors were expecting people to say things like ABS (anti-lock braking system), but not the case

Innovation doesn’t need to be technical; it needs to use something useful.

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Speaking at the Salone del Mobile in Milan Ford director of design Joel Piaskowski predicted a future for cars featuring 3D printing, car sharing, and autonomous vehicles…

Piaskowski envisions 3D printing – which the company currently uses to create prototypes but is not yet featured in its finished vehicles – being used significantly in the creation of cars in the future.

“There are companies out there 3D printing cars or elements of the car,” he says. “If you fast-forward, what does that mean long term? I’m not talking 5 or 10 years, it could be 15, 20 years, but having the ability to print a car, and how technology is evolving so quickly, you could really start customising a car for individuals or needs, in a very different way than we build and manufacture cars today.”

3d printed car

He also discussed Ford’s developments within the hottest topic in car design right now – the driver less car. “[There are] four levels of automation,” he says. “We’re between levels one and two – with four being fully automated – where some cars today are partially autonomous, with adaptive cruise control that will allow the car to keep a certain distance from the car in front of you, and it will brake and come to a complete stop if necessary. Also being able to self-park – you’re still in the car controlling it, but it’s a level of autonomy.

“And then you start layering on car-sharing, or working with cities,” he continues. “The city can also be a customer, from a standpoint of being able to provide parking solutions. You can digitally wire to telegraph where parking places exist. There have been studies done of how much time and energy is wasted on just trying to find parking places in highly urban areas – even on the economy where it’s burning fossil fuels just trying to find a parking space.”

Location : Piazza San Fedele & Rho Fairgrounds



4 Toyota Group

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Toyota’s real commitment to th Salone has been through its’ Lexus brand.

Lexus has been presenting at the Salone for 10 years now . Lexus is one of the most constant, but still surprising, car makers showing in the Salone.


This year Lexus worked with three presentation themes.

1) The Geneva city-car LF-SA concept, presented in surprising environment – car completely white, looked like it is made from marble surrounded by convex mirrors and changing light.

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2) The annual Lexus Student Design Competition with some interesting, some exciting and some surprising proposals.

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Milan Design Week once again saw the awards ceremony of the Lexus Design Awards 2015, whereby 1,171 projects were submitted from 72 countries.

Lexus offered visitors the 12 finalists works from the Lexus Design Awards 2015

The winner was the work Sense-Wear by 2 x Italian designers Emanuela Corti and Ivan Wallpapers.

Sense-Wear is a collection of clothing and accessories designed to sharpen the awareness of the senses

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3) A labyrinth = A journey of the Senses where you could excite your five senses.

A master cook and a surprising use of vodka were among the ingredients.

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Lexus invites us on a sensory experience with ‘A Journey of the Senses’.

We taste elements of the ‘cycle of life’ – raindrops, nature, earth – through design and food.

Here the journey is directed by designer Philippe Nigro’s installation and enhanced through chef Hajime Yoneda’s experimental tasters.

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‘It is playground for adults,’ muses Nigro with a smile as he leads us through his modular wooden structure that subtly plays with contrasting material and textures – metallic mesh, soft transparent fabrics, blonde untreated wood – fused together to, he notes, ‘surprise the visitor’

We move through a series of cocoons, each one of which is designed to heighten the senses and evoke the Inside-Out Lexus design philosophy encouraging our enjoyment of driving through design.

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We are challenged to see the beauty of bad weather in a dark room where close-set ball chains illuminate to produce an illusion of falling rain.

We consume ‘raindrops’ made out of sparkling candy that dissolves and sets off a sweet crackling sound somewhere in our mouth.

Nigro’s structure directs us to a space created to resemble the inside of a giant tree trunk.

Here we pop a ball wrapped in cacao butter into our mouths and the aroma of fresh, verdant greenery washes over our senses as we absorb the quiet sounds of the forest.

This is the beauty of nature, as seen from the inside

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Our journey concludes in the beginning of life where we enjoy a bowl of warm ‘earth soup’ composed of the essence of vegetables, meat and fish whilst taking in the universe with its twinkling stars in pure darkness.

Yoneda says the idea is to calm the nerves through sight, sound, feel and taste.

This, he believes, is the role of the car in the future to create such an environment when driving.

Joy has to be in everything we design and experience

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About 10,000 people every day have visited the “Lexus – Turning Space” in Milan during the days of the Fuorisalone.

As a result Toyota Lexus won the “Best Entertainment Exhibition ” Milan Design Award for the Salone – a prize which was awarded for the first time to a car maker.

Location : Turning, via Tortona 32.


Toyota Boshoku

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2015 marked Toyota Boshoku’s fourth showing at Milan Design Week, an exhibition which borrowed from last year’s theme of Carsa, a play on words blending “Car and Casa”.

At the exhibition, Toyota Boshoku ( Toyota’s lifestyle and design branch ) presented a fusion of automotive interiors with traditional Japanese culture.

One of the items on exhibit was an “OTEDAMA Seat,” which is a beanbag-style seat that utilizes automotive fabric.

When guests wear 3D glasses in the exhibit’s Japanese-style room – complete with tatami mats and shoji sliding paper screen doors – they can become a part of the virtual experience as the room transforms into a car interior before their eyes.

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According to Business Wire, in 2014 Toyota Boshoku had consolidated net sales of Aud USD $13 billion

It’s the world’s premier interior system suppliers and filter manufacturers.

They develop and produce interior components, filtration and powertrain components at over 100 sites in 27 countries around the world.

Even though they are located in the Tortona area, they are so hidden that only the most dedicated fans found their way there.

Location : Via Forcella 7



5 Peugeot

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Peugeot Food Truck – aka “Bistrot du Lion”

This years Specialty Food van was presented by Peugeot, who have identified the US trend towards street-food and created a fantastic food-truck, complete with kitchen, coffee bar and disco-unit.

MPV has got a completely new meaning with great function and excellent execution.

It is a real restaurant which can serve up to 30 people, who can follow their food being prepared through a large 46″ inch TV screen.

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Design Lab head designer Frenchman Cathal Loughnanne

Bistrot du Lion will move later into the French pavilion for the duration of the Expo Milan 2015


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Peugeot again presented its ‘independent’ design arm, Design Lab, to show its specially designed Pleyel piano and a continuation of french head of Design Lab Cathal Loughnanne’s Onyx development project

This time the objects created were a series of nice lamps

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Location Via Tortona 31



6 Volkswagen Group

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Audi’s new R8-etron

The Volkswagen Group was out in force again in 2015 for the Salone, with key marques Audi Design, Automobili Lamborghini, Ducati Motor Holding and Italdesign Giugiaro involved

Audi City Lab, together with Lamborghini, Ducati brought the most expensive parking spaces in the whole of Milan in Via Monte Napoleone, where they also had a show room over three floors

On Via Monte Napoleone there was a parade of Supercars, while inside the Audi City Lab collects the best of technology in an off road exhibition

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Italdesign Giugiaro’s  GEA (the flagship concept car which has a 775 HP capacity )

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Audi created the installation Bella Figura by designer Moritz Waldemeyer

The presentation featured in the Italian Super sports car R8 preview and the new Audi Q7 e-tron, SUVs with plug-in hybrid

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The led light installations were designed by prize-winning designer Moritz Waldemeyer.

This is the third time he has helped Audi Design Lab with their lightning concept at Milan

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Audi City Lab, avant-garde exhibition space where takes shape innovative spirit of German group brands, also conducted a series of panel discussions on design, culture, sustainability and innovation

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The first daily workshop / panel discussions was chaired by Head Audi designer Walter de’Silva,

There are also special objects that go beyond the car, like the carbon fiber ski, a foosball table in aluminium, and a few other expressions of creativity designed in -house by Audi Group

Ducati contributed to the Audi City Lab, by presenting its’ Lightness Experience expressed with two different installations.


The first, on display until April 28 outside the Audi City Lab on via Montenapoleone, is a sculpture made of white Carrara marble, designed by Gianandrea Blacksmith (Creative Director of Ducati Design Centre) and inspired by the aesthetic of Italy

Fortitudo mea in levitate ( = my strength is in lightness ) is the name of the sculpture that was created from three pure blocks of Carrara marble, artfully crafted to convey the lightness that is deliberately in sharp contrast with the marble’s weight has always been recognized as the noble material of art.

Ducati’s second installation featured a Ducati Panigale R, the most powerful production motorcycle and performance available in range, a true reference in the field in terms of power-to-weight ratio.

The Panigale R was on display on the first floor of the location

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Lamborghini presented a Lamborghini Huracán LP 610-4 on one of the parking spaces on Via MonteNapoleone


In one of the display cubes on the road was a sculpture designed by Centro Stile Lamborghini

Lamborghini has added its mark to the latest generation of high-end luggage from TecknoMonster: Bynomio rolling luggage on display at via MonteNapoleone inside the specially constructed pop-up showcase


Entirely fabricated in Italy, the collection of high-end rolling bags were created using the same materials employed in Lamborghini’s super sports cars: carbon fiber cured in the autoclave, fully-machined aluminium, and high-grade hides tanned exclusively in Italy.

Location : Via Montenapoleone



7 Mazda

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The exhibition “Design: The Mazda Car as Art”, the CX-3 and MX-5 are displayed next to some objects made by Japanese designer inspired by the theme of design “KODO, Soul of Motion” that characterizes all Mazda.

The Mazda Motor Corporation has developed a strong relationship with Design Week and with Milan. Indeed, the city was the backdrop chosen for the official global presentation of the Mazda Kodo design theme in 2010 and 2013 but this year the Japanese corporation’s presence is very special.

Mazda in 2015, was so exclusive, that for the first two days they were closed for the general public – “By invitation only”.

Ikuo Maeda (Executive Officer & General Manager, Design Division Japan)

Ikuo Maeda (Executive Officer & General Manager, Design Division Japan)

“Over the past few years, design has become an essential part of who we are, adding an artistic value to the entire Mazda brand experience,” said Masahiro Moro, Mazda’s managing executive officer, in charge of global marketing, customer service and sales innovation.

“As such, it only makes sense that we introduce our design messages here in Milan, a city of the apex of the design world, in order to elevate our brand image. Moving forward, we will create more opportunities to familiarize customers with Mazda and Mazda design in order to raise the value of our brand and strengthen our bond with customers.”

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Mazda was also fairly modest, but they had at least their own, fancy, pop-up showroom in the Brera district. They were here two years ago, launching the Kodo design-language chair.

As a company that places a huge priority on creativity and design quality, we like to go outside the box for inspiration. These activities in Milan are an excellent opportunity to learn from different fields of design,

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Kevin Rice, Mazda’s European Design Director, describes the car manufacturer’s design philosophy as a “spirit” that finds its raison d’être in motion and which the Hiroshima Group has called “Kodo”.

We want to channel emotions, not forms,” explains Rice, “we don’t create, we imagine. We want to suggest design, not impose it. The Japanese aesthetic is not only a style but a spirit, a subtle approach to the world.

The outcome of all this work, done in Milan with local professionals,” continues Rice “has really surprised me and the design team. We had a clear aim, to channel expression and dynamic elegance in objects as well as cars but we didn’t know how far our design theme could take us.”

Kodo Design has proved extremely flexible and given special character to all the pieces created, which include a sofa, a table and even a bicycle.

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Mazda presented a bicycle and a sofa –

Kodo Bike, modern retelling of a racing bicycle that evokes lightness, agility and speed and

Kodo Sofa, which combines the intrinsic beauty that lies in the balance between form and function.

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The sofa and racing bike on display are one-off pieces that convey creative engineering, a more European approach to problem solving.

The foam within the long, elegant sofa designed in collaboration with Milan’s Setsu and Shinobu Ito, for instance, needed to be milled in a way that even the Italian producer responsible found challenging.

Underneath, the structure is made of red wood and the natural untreated red from the material reveals itself on occasion, subtly without show

The bike is a racing bicycle designed to show the “innate beauty” of the bike.

The bike frame is beaten from a single sheet of steel, with the hand-sewn leather saddle featuring the same stitching as the upcoming MX-5’s upholstery, and the red in the colour scheme is symbolic of Kodo.

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To explore the drive of the unlimited motion expressed in these design products, Mazda went back to their roots and cemented the bond with the Japanese aesthetic of elegance.

Mazda used the occasion of the Salone to explore Kodo, its design philosophy rooted in old Japan, through a range of objects made by skilled Japanese artisans and internally by the Mazda design team.

Mazda director of design Ikuo Maeda believes ‘ there is something very spiritual in the way they work .’

The process is slow, watching the objects come to life over months and months of painstaking labour – and it is the passion that sees life injected into these static objects that makes them so special

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Kodoki is a vase created by the Gyokusendo studio ( a family of artisans based in Hiroshima for seven generations) using the ancient tsuiki method whereby the artisans beats the ingot into a thick sheet by hand, adding colour through a reaction between tin plated on the piece’s surface and a unique mix of compounds taken from nature

Similarly the Shiraito lacquered box by Hiroshima artisan Kinjo-Ikkokusai uses the Cho-Shitsu technique.

Inspired by waterfalls, here the streams of water are painstakingly built up by individually applying tiny flakes of eggshell to the lacquer base. This simplicity, essence and sense of proportion speak directly to the senses and are what builds a timeless aesthetic.

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Our work goes on and the extraordinary exchange of skills with the Italian people and firms that have supported and accompanied us,” continues Rice “enabled us to work both experimentally and skilfully with various materials while maintaining a strong focus on detail, which is a must in the Japanese culture and aesthetic.”

The items on display will be produced and marketed in a limited series but the motor corporation is happy to form partnerships with specialist companies to create product lines

Location : Via S. Carpoforo 9



8 Jaguar

jaguar at tom dixon cinema

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Jaguar was part of Designjunction Edit at the old Opera Nazionale Balilla.

This year Jaguar was very low key, and in fact only exhibited because Tom Dixon borrowed the beautiful Jaguar XE Word Cloud sculpture.

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Word Cloud, an aluminium casting, reproduces the shape of the new model consists of 95 words in 7 different languages describing the new Jaguar XE – and a real one was parked outside.

But the installation was effective, bonding very well with Dixon’s Etch Web Pendants above

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Cast metals (notably aluminum) and XE sedan (Jaguar more efficient in history), interpreted by the Word Cloud sculpture  through 95 words in seven different languages.

Location :  Opera Nazionale Balilla, via Pietro Mascagni 6



9 Land Rover

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Land Rover introduced ” Unstoppable Spirit ” an installation inspired by the new Discovery Sport and result of the collaboration between Gerry McGovern, Land Rover Design Director and the Italian artist Nino Mustica.

There you could find a Land Rover Discovery Sport car, and an art exhibition curated by McGovern.

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Nino Mustica has done enough interesting pieces to have earned some space on your bookshelves, and his work here is interesting in the same way Giorgio di Chirico was when he designed advertisements for Fiat.

Nino Mustica explores the worlds of art and industrial design – inserting Land Rover shapes and detail within – they might become interesting decorations in a dealer’s show room.

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I believe that art and design enrich the lives of everyone, in every respect “…. Gerry McGovern

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Unstoppable Spirit was previewed last October at the Frieze Art Fair at the Royal Festival Hall in the Southbank Centre in London, on the banks of the Thames

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Location : Piazza Gae Aulenti



10 Aston Martin

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Aston Martin has stuck to what they do, cars and furniture- they continue the endless repetitions.

Their “home” catalogue is now thicker than any relevant car literature; their creations have even been subject for books.

It can’t be a given thing that if you are good at making cars you are also good at making candleholders.

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Location : via Monte Rosa, 82



11 Citroën

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Citroën was invited by the newspaper Corriere della Sera and the design magazine Living, to participate in a special home living exhibition ” The Art of Living” at the Triennale.

A yellow C4 Cactus stood out on the first floor of the Triennale, after it was artfully inserted in the “Garage” of an imaginery House

The previous week in New York, the C4 Cactus was awarded the prestigious 2015 World Car Design of the Year.

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DS, the French brand made autonomous by Citroen recently chose to assist Elle Decor in the exhibition “Design for Life” at Palazzo Reale. and in Via della Spiga a legendary DS, an icon of style that has marked the history of design, in homage to its’ 60th anniversary.

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Location : Triennale di Milano, Viale Alemagna 6 & Via della Spiega



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