Since 2017, the Mini-founded design and innovation hub A/D/O has offered designers a unique place for creative work with its 23,000 sq ft warehouse space in Brooklyn. Its robust calendar of events, exhibitions and programming has mostly stayed independent of the automotive company, but for the latest series of design installations, the upcoming launch of the electric battery Mini Cooper SE in 2020 serves as the conceptual starting point to examining the future of sustainable urban living.

Installed earlier this month at A/D/O was a kinetic and sonic piece from Dutch designers Random Studio, as well as a group installation of six new light works from the platform for emerging designers, In Good Company, established by artist Fernando Mastrangelo.

For their piece, entitled ‘Perpetuum’, Random Studio sought to capture the meditative aspects of travel and architectural abstraction. Installed beneath A/D/O’s prism-shaped periscope, the work creates moments reminiscent of the moving urban landscape viewed through the tinted windows of a car in transit. Positioned in dialogue with the fragmented views of the surrounding skyline and reflections of light into the space, the piece poetically interprets Mini’s upcoming plans. 

Light

‘The design brief was to create an installation that would leave people with a charged feeling that also spoke to Mini’s larger design philosophy and eye towards the future of mobility. We tried to imagine what this could feel like,’ explains the studio’s founder Daan Lucas. ‘We aimed to distil the experiential components of travelling and evaluated how the electric car would be the next step towards a truer travel experience — one without the noise and environmental footprint.’

‘This summer we have been experimenting with different ways we can affect your experience of a space, connecting digital concepts with physical architecture. Lots of ideas revolved around projectors and LED, yet we found harnessing existing light using filters and optics particularly exciting,’ Lucas adds. ‘When the opportunity to create a work for Mini around the future of mobility arose, we jumped at it, using what we learnt, inspired by the experience of sitting in a car and gazing at the landscape passing by, dreaming.’

In addition to this, a group show of newly commissioned pieces by six designers from In Good Company occupies the building’s inner courtyard. Titled ‘Glow Up’, the works each use light to further explore the notion of the urban landscape.

Circular installation

‘Many things came together to point to light installations as being the key to this particular exhibition. For one, the upcoming launch of the Electric vehicle spoke to the charge of electricity and luminosity,’ says Mastrangelo. ‘The urban environment theme [also] lends itself to a mood akin to the city of lights.’

He adds, ‘We handpicked six talented young designers from In Good Company’s past exhibitions and asked them to reimagine their sculptural languages and their signature materials in chandelier form.’

Featuring creations from Amanda Richards, Marco Piscitelli, Bailey Fontaine, Gregory Benson, Arcana, Nick Missel, and Ian Cochran, the exhibition presents diverse viewpoints of the urban landscape. From referencing the forms of bollards and flood lamps to utilising A/D/O’s own architecture as part of its composition, the individualised works each stand on their own while also co-existing harmoniously together, much like any city landscape. §