BMW designers reveal creative process at milan design week 2023 exhibition

BMW designers reveal creative process at milan design week 2023 exhibition

Ride along on A Creative’s Journey with BMW Design at Milan Design Week 2023. Spanning an immersive installation, inspiring exhibition and thought-provoking meeting place, the space shares an insight into the automotive brand’s creative process. Guests are invited to accompany designers on their quest to find creative ideas for tomorrow’s mobility.


‘We wished to show the process of our designers at Milan Design Week, instead of a collaboration. We thought it would be nice to take visitors on a journey of how we develop ideas, discuss certain design features and share concepts. People are invited to participate along,’ begins Domagoj Dukec, Head of BMW Design, in an interview with designboom.

BMW designers reveal creative process at milan design week 2023 exhibition
BMW Design’s installation takes over a courtyard in Brera during Milan Design Week 2023

All images courtesy of the BMW Group



The concept for A Creative’s Journey by BMW Design explores the essence of Milan Design Week 2023. As BMW designers, artists in other creative industries and design enthusiasts alike flock to the city and the Salone del Mobile fair, the timing is ideal for creatives to find inspiration, networking and share ideas in fashion, architecture and the arts – not just automotive design.

BMW designers reveal creative process at milan design week 2023 exhibition
Through a green portal, visitors are greeted by three columns dressed as if a car wash



The immersive installation welcomes guests by immediately opening senses to new ideas. A reflective green entrance portal, stepped back from the roadside in Brera, mimics the Milanese architecture by following the volt in height as well as elongation. This is flanked by three columns dressed to resemble a car wash. It symbolizes the start of a creative process – the need for designers to rid themselves of all restrictive thinking.


‘We did not want to show a complete car,’ adds Domagoj. ‘We wanted to invite people in to change perspectives on certain topics. The archway to the installation does not fight with the surrounding. The color stands for the contrast and disruption that has defined BMW. It draws people in deeper.’

BMW designers reveal creative process at milan design week 2023 exhibition
Domed seating with inspiring printed text enables guests to pause, engage and connect with other creatives



The inner courtyard, in turn, symbolizes the rooted history of BMW, its values and models but also looks to the present and future to solve issues of tomorrow. Domed seating, again as if taken from a car wash, provides seating for guests to pause, engage and connect with other creatives. The seats feature inspiring text fragments that reflect BMW Design’s thinking: face the future with optimism and empathy. It is this moment where guests are invited to meet, be inspired and share ideas.


‘BMW has always stood for sheer driving pleasure. To always deliver this, we really want to understand what drives people, and we try to get our designers to forget all that we know so far. That is what the first section represents: our designers wash themselves of preconceptions but still align with BMW’s values. These include designing to be pure, more iconic and more sustainable,’ clarifies the Head of BMW Design.


Domagoj Dukec, Head of BMW Design, gives designboom’s editor Tim Spears a tour of the exhibition



‘The sculpture draws guests in from the street. It is immediately recognizeable as BMW,’ continues the designer. ‘The sculpture demonstrates the importance to respect history. But of course we cannot take all from the past, as otherwise we would only create copies. It symbolizes how designers reinterpret the brand’s history and iconic design for the future in a light and very natural way.’


A special BMW Design sculpture sits at the center of the courtyard. Like the historic Milanese architecture and its modern retail, the artwork is similar in message to its surroundings; it balances the old and the new. Bathed in bright yellow, the sculpture references the exterior design of the BMW 3.0 CSL. Its iconic front end peaks out from the yellow plinth, immediately recognizable by its vertical kidney-shaped grille.

BMW designers reveal creative process at milan design week 2023 exhibition
a sculpture of the BMW 3.0 CSL references the old and new



Inside, visitors embark on a journey through design disciplines and processes. An innovative, sustainable exhibition details the colors and materials, interior and exterior artwork, and design concepts that not only serve as inspiration but also illustrate the work of BMW Design and its designers. A key trend emerges throughout: a human-centric design approach is apparent in the materials, products and experiences. It is an integral design requirement to ensure vehicles are relevant and meaningful in the future.


‘In contrast to a car show where traditionally only models are shown, an exhibition allows BMW to express ourselves more. Milan is very liberating for creatives to show ideas without the pressure of a final design. Here, we are showing ideation, which exemplifies how every answer is valid when designing,’ explains Domagoj.

BMW designers reveal creative process at milan design week 2023 exhibition
The inside exhibition showcases the design process through colors and materials, artwork and concepts



Human perception is paramount for design decisions at BMW. The exhibition showcases the evolution of BMW Design’s philosophy from form follows function to form follows experience. A dedicated space for the phygital experience – physical and digital – demonstrates a seamless blend between technology and art. An interactive installation transforms a scaled vehicle model into a dynamic canvas. The new technology enriches the design to emotionally engage and add personality to drivers and passengers. This final act leaves viewers wondering what could be next for mobility.


‘The essence of a car is very positive: freedom and self determination. We want our designers to remove every thing that is annoying, unnecessary and negative in a vehicle. We can only do this by understanding the consumer. Milan can help us in this aim. We can understand people’s feedback, new ideas, and be inspired ourselves,’ concludes Domagoj Dukec, Head of BMW Design.


The space aims to inspire new ideas for mobility

BMW designers reveal creative process at milan design week 2023 exhibition
Concepts – whether realistic of hypothetical – push perceptions of what the future holds

BMW designers reveal creative process at milan design week 2023 exhibition
The Milanese exhibition showcases how other arts inspire the work of BMW

BMW designers reveal creative process at milan design week 2023 exhibition
The phygital experience blends technology and art by turning a car into an experiential canvas



project info:


title: A Creative’s Journey
brand: BMW Design
dates: April 18 – 23 2023
location: Via Monte Napoleone 12, Milan

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