Mini's new Rocketman concept has some neat features, like a double-hinged door so you can get in and out while parked in tight spaces and a rear trunk with a drawer-style door. That latter feature in particular should come in handy in urban parking situations, where some jerk is inevitably parked right up on you; with this you could stand curb-side and open the drawer for access. And the rear taillights are actually free-standing modules perched atop the car's haunches, obviating the need to carve precious space out of the car body itself.
Following the Rocketman's recent Milan unveiling, CoolHunting scored an interview with Adrian van Hooydonk, design chief of Mini parent company BMW. See our interview with van Hooydonk from this year's North American International Auto Show here! Van Hooydonk sounded off on the Mini philosophy -- "being clever in a small space" -- and revealed some design process tidbits:
We're constantly not just looking at other fields of design, like industrial design, furniture design or fashion design, we also have a part of our team -- actually a large part of our team located in California -- called Design Works. And this design consultancy, we do industrial design for other companies as well. We are actually in touch with other industries, like aircraft industry, or boating. We design airplane interiors or boats exteriors and interiors.
And you always learn, so as a designer you become more creative the more you work on different types of products, or design problems. LED light is something that is coming anyway, also in furniture, also in housing. It is simply very small, it uses less energy.
It led to a whole creative outburst, because now we can position these lights in places where in the past a lightbulb would have to go in and there wouldn't be the space. Without LED we couldn't have done this roof or the illumination of the door panels, or the tail lamps where the air can pass through. It wouldn't be possible.