As circularity slowly expands across industries, car companies are beginning to explore sustainable design as the new standard. Emblematic of that is the MINI Strip — a one-off car that resulted from a collaboration between two British brands, fashion designer Paul Smith and automotive marque MINI.
With the intent to drive sustainable auto manufacturing forward, the design of the MINI Strip focuses on the theme of ‘simplicity, transparency, sustainability.’ Its name comes from the concept’s starting point — a stripped-down Mini Cooper SE, which was then reassembled with a minimalist mindset.
The less-is-more approach is reflected in the raw exterior finish, where factory grinding masks are still showing. While a thin film of clear paint protects the surface, the exterior is otherwise unfinished. Visible screws incorporated into the design highlight ease of maintenance and the possibility for the car to be disassembled and the panels recycled at the end of life. The team also decided to 3D-print several sections of the car using recycled plastic for a lightweight and eco-friendly solution.
Minimalism takes over the interior even more, with stripped-down trim and little more in the way of controls than a space for a smartphone, switches for the power windows, and a start/stop control button.
The designers also turned away from leather and chrome in favor of seats upholstered in knitted fabric and floor mats made from recycled rubber. The dashboard topper, door shoulders, and parcel shoulders are made of recycled cork in a bid to add texture and visual interest to the interior. Overall, the material selections are primarily recyclable to showcase alternatives for foamed plastics.
Image source: MINI