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BMW talks design as catalyst for positive change at milan design week 2024

watch BMW’s talk at milan design week 2024

 

Design at BMW transcends the mere creation of vehicles; they craft experiences that deeply resonate with users while also addressing complex societal challenges, such as circular mobility. In the exhibition ‘FUTURE OF JOY’ by BMW Design, the brand unveils its vision of the future through the BMW Vision Neue Klasse at Milan Design Week 2024. During the event, Alice Rawsthorn, Design Critic and co-author of Design Emergency, and Holger Hampf, Head of BMW Group Designworks, further elaborate how design serves as a catalyst for positive change in the talk filmed by designboom – watch above.

BMW talks design as catalyst for positive change at milan design week 2024
the installation invited visitors to see, hear, feel, taste, and smell the Neue Klasse

all images courtesy of the BMW Group

 

 

future of joy by bmw design

 

The cornerstone of BMW’s vision of the future is the Vision Neue Klasse, which, together with the Vision Neue Klasse X, present a design perspective that engages users with all their senses. These holistic products – and especially the design and development processes to realize them – are the centerpiece of the exhibition ‘FUTURE OF JOY’ by BMW Design at Milan Design Week 2024. From the moment visitors step through the entrance portal flourished with a floral display, they are transported into BMW’s new vision of the world. The Vision Neue Klasse’s new design language – clean, elegant and timeless – is only teased as visitors are invited further in. The subtle interplay of sound and fragrance allows those to see, hear, feel, taste, and smell the Neue Klasse. The courtyard captures creativity and ignites the curiosity to explore more.

 

The car, as seen in Milan, is really only the start of an entire transformation of BMW’s product portfolio. It shows a new form language that we will be applying to many cars to follow. It is a bold move that very ambitiously jumps product generation and introduces a model that looks and feels more like the future than any other car before. We want onlookers to turn their heads and know this is different, when they see this car on the street in the next years,‘ begins Holger Hampf, Head of BMW Group Designworks, in the livestream talk.

BMW talks design as catalyst for positive change at milan design week 2024
the BMW Vision Neue Klasse sat as the centerpiece of the exhibition

 

 

As guests move into the internal exhibition, they are enveloped in warmer colors with yellow and orange tones hinting at the vibrant energy of the Vision Neue Klasse and Vision Neue Klasse X respectively. Every aspect of the design journey is meticulously curated to evoke emotion and foster connection, from the interior and exterior designs to the color and trim, user interface, and sound designs. Sustainable color and material samples are joined with artwork, photographs, and other multimedia presentations. However, the display also provides insights into the broader creativity at the brand and how its designers are developing solutions for the electric, digital, and circular mobility of tomorrow.

BMW talks design as catalyst for positive change at milan design week 2024
moderated by journalist Eva Steidl (left), Alice Rawsthorn (center), Design Critic and co-author of Design Emergency, and Holger Hampf (right), Head of BMW Group Designworks, talk ‘Design as Accelerator for Change’

 

 

design as accelerator for change

 

BMW’s presence at Milan Design Week 2024 not only showcases the brand’s prowess of creativity and their vision for the future but also serves as a platform for dialogue and collaboration. The design team engages with peers from diverse creative fields, exchanging ideas and insights to further fuel innovation. Central to this was the design talk, called ‘Design as Accelerator for Change’, livestreamed on designboom. Moderated by journalist Eva Steidl, Alice Rawsthorn, Design Critic and co-author of Design Emergency, and Holger Hampf, Head of BMW Group Designworks, underscore the transformative power of design in addressing complex social, ecological, and political challenges. They both emphasize the need for interdisciplinary collaboration, user-centric approaches, and the importance of radical thinking.

 

Across art, engineering and design, Milan is the perfect interplay for many different disciplines. BMW come here repeatedly to aspire others but also to be inspired by this city, the people, and market. It is a location at the forefront of all things joyful, but there is also an intense dialogue between designer and products. In the past, people considered design and engineering as somewhat enemies. However, we are showing at BMW that this is the opposite. They inspire each other and, together, bring forward a better product,‘ adds the Head of Designworks.

BMW talks design as catalyst for positive change at milan design week 2024
the interior of the exhibition featured sustainable color and material samples together with artwork, photographs, and other multimedia presentations

 

 

Alice Rawsthorn highlights the role of design in solving pressing global issues. She not only tells of the importance of radical innovation but the need for responsible creativity. Ranging from forensic architecture to medicine, the design critic illustrates ground-breaking visions that have driven meaningful, positive change. Further to this, she speaks of the intersection of craftsmanship and technology, disagreeing that digital technology is replacing artisans. Instead the Design Critic lists how technology is rather empowering craft, from the innovative textiles used in the Neue Klasse car even to the multi-century restoration of Notre Dame Cathedral.

 

‘I actually don’t agree that digital technology is somehow crushing craftsmanship because actually, the reverse has happened. First of all, I think technology has really piqued our interest in completely different forms of activity and hand craftsmanship very much come into this. It is also apparent there are endless medical and scientific research that has sophisticated our own sensibility, such as the upholstery fabrics in the Vision car. But one of my favourite examples of how craft and technology are coming together, I think is the the restoration of Notre Dame Cathedral. The craftsmen have been mobilised and are using medieval techniques but everything has been digitally mapped,‘ explains Alice Rawsthorn, Design Critic and co-author of Design Emergency.

BMW talks design as catalyst for positive change at milan design week 2024
BMW’s design journey is meticulously curated to evoke emotion and foster connection, from the interior and exterior designs to the color and trim, user interface, and sound designs

 

 

Meanwhile, Holger Hampf delves into the emotional creative work of both BMW and Designworks, the BMW Group’s design studio, which also works for external clients. This background allows him to emphasize the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration. He exemplifies why the design processes prioritize emotional engagement and simplicity. This mission aims not only to create visually appealing products but also to make them intuitive to use. The Vision vehicles on display at the exhibition are trailblazers for bold, positive change.

 

The automotive design process has become much more multidisciplinary. An exterior designer is replying as much on the user interface designer as the other way around nowadays,‘ Holger continues to say, ‘The Neue Klasse does not consider singular aspects of design. Every element, across disciplines, are orchestrated together. Together, it is a race for our designers to realize the next big feature. The car’s design DNA is more rich but also reduced.

BMW talks design as catalyst for positive change at milan design week 2024
the display shows how BMW designers place the user – the human – at the center of their development process

 

 

As evidenced by both the exhibition and talk at the House of BMW, the brand highlights how the joy of design, the creators, and the products they realize can spark positive change in the world. Designers must be radical to create truly innovative products. The BMW Vision Neue Klasse and Vision Neue Klasse X are bold beacons of this, leapfrogging vehicle generations and embracing a future-forward design language. By pushing the boundaries of creativity, embracing radical minimalism, and empowering the senses, BMW paves the way for an emotional, responsible, and attractive future.

 

I think visionary design does have to be radical. It is difficult to imagine how it could be visionary without being radical. That is not to say that there is anything wrong with intelligent, responsible, and sensitive reinventions or incremental improvements in existing design projects; they can be important but at different speeds,‘ finalizes Alice.

future-of-joy-bmw-design-neue-klasse-milan-design-week-2024-designboom10

the floral gateway into the courtyard ignites curiosity with the subtle interplay of sound and fragrance

BMW talks design as catalyst for positive change at milan design week 2024
the concept car is followed by the SUV-equivalent BMW Vision Neue Klasse X

future-of-joy-bmw-design-neue-klasse-milan-design-week-2024-designboom09

the BMW Vision Neue Klasse highlights the brand’s new, future-forward design language

BMW talks design as catalyst for positive change at milan design week 2024
the House of BMW welcoming visitors during Milan Design Week 2024

 

 

talk:

 

title: Design as Accelerator for Change

date: 16 April

moderator: Eva Steidl

panellists: Alice Rawsthorn, design critic and co-founder of Design Emergency, and Holger Hampf, Head of BMW Group Designworks

 

 

exhibition info:

 

exhibition: FUTURE OF JOY

exhibitor: BMW Design

location: House of BMW
address: Via Monte Napoleone 12, Milan

dates: 16-21 April 2024

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