Salone del Mobile


For this year’s Salone del Mobile, the renowned designer Alfredo Häberli joined forces with the BMW Design Team headed by Karim Habib and Martina Starke – and under the overall direction of Adrian van Hooydonk – to create a compelling installation that will be on view during Milan’s major design event. Taking its lead from the BMW Design leitmotif “Precision & Poetry”, this work tackles the values of future mobility at a conceptual level. To this end, the Zurich-based designer embarks on a thought journey that begins with childhood memories, sketches and formal studies. It ends with a large-scale model and leads to a spatial installation that allows personal thoughts on future mobility to be experienced in the present.

Personal perspective. New angles.
Alfredo Häberli’s visualisation of forward-looking mobility scenarios came about over a period of six months. The installation documents Häberli’s intense personal debate on the theme with the aid of numerous research documents, sources of inspiration, drawings and sculptural objects. Karim Habib, Head of Design BMW Automobiles, says this about the installation: “Here, within a spatial dimension, it becomes clear that the analysis of what we wish to be surrounded by in the future revolves around far more than finding an appropriate form.” The focus of the show is a wooden ribbed model ten metres long by a good four metres high that translates the theme into an avant-garde form of impressive precision and dimension. “Alfredo Häberli has designed an associative world that lends new meaning to the luxury of mobility,” adds Habib.

“Precision and Poetry” as a leitmotif. BMW DNA as the reference.
When it comes to the design of the installation, the BMW Design leitmotif “Precision & Poetry” furnishes the thematic framework. Häberli cites the BMW Design DNA, but renders it visible on an associative plane using free forms. “Through the abstract sculpture of a vehicle that projects the luxurious gliding of a sedan in the future, my vision becomes three-dimensional,” says Häberli of his creative process. This is illustrated, inter alia, by the surface model on display in Milan. Häberli implements automotive design tools and combines these with his technical-philosophical signature to generate new forms and geometrical shapes.

Mobility and luxury. Movement and communication.
“For me, silence, space and time are the luxury goods of the future,” says Häberli, and in his work defines the concept of luxury anew, far beyond the material dimension. Against the background of highly automated control, the designer dissolves the traditional architecture of the automobile and declares its interior space a social hub, an abstract place where encounter and communication are pivotal and where progress from A to B assumes a new quality. Serving as a synonym for this new, unencumbered mode of travel are several “Take a Line for a Walk” seats designed by Häberli and upholstered with high-quality materials taken from automotive design.

Cooperation and exchange. Dialogue and new forms of expression.
The intense thematic discourse between the BMW Design Team and Alfredo Häberli, as well as the active collaboration with the BMW development lab and model workshops, were at the heart of the project from its inception. “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,” says Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design. The project is seen above all as a dialogue-based search for new forms of expressing encounter and motion. Divided into four thematic units ranging from “Spheres” and “Dwell” to “Couch” and “Vessel”, the installation with its diverse formats and dimensions invites the observer on an individual journey into the mobile future. A comprehensive booklet accompanying the exhibition provides detailed insights into the conceptual and creative processes behind “Spheres. Perspectives in Precision & Poetry for BMW designed by Alfredo Häberli.”

The installation “Spheres. Perspectives in Precision & Poetry for BMW designed by Alfredo Häberli” will be on show in Milan as part of the Salone del Mobile from 14 to 19 April 2015: Area Sciesa Tre, Via Amatore Sciesa, 3, 20135 Milan.

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