At this year’s Salone del Mobile, design studio Studiomama join MINI LIVING in creating its latest installation. Co-founded by London-based, Danish designer Nina Tolstrup and Jack Mama in 2000, the firm seemed like an obvious partner thanks to its work tackling shrinking living spaces. The practice works across product and spatial design, using playful architecture to solve some of the problems associated with urbanization.
In London’s East End, down a cobblestone alleyway behind Bethnal Green Road, is the carpenters’ workshop that Studiomama transformed into a space-saving townhouse. Drawing from their Scandinavian roots, Studiomama has reimagined the space as a warm, light-filled flat capable of sleeping five despite its tiny plot size. What better place to speak with Nina Tolstrup and Oke Hauser, the creative lead of MINI Living, about how we could design for a better future.
“It looks like by the end of the twenty-first century we will all be living in cities,” Tolstrup explains from the dining room of the converted workshop, “and I think that we have to rethink how we are living, more efficiently and that will probably mean smaller footprint smaller spaces. That’s a logical consequence: we can build higher, or we can build smaller.” In building smaller though, we have to build smarter — something that Tolstrup, with design exploits like the ‘13m2 House’, the ‘Beach House’ and the ‘Small Town House’, knows all too well. MINI Living is part of this evolution, working with designers to imagine possible futures within increasingly built-up environments. As Hauser, the creative lead of the project, notes “we live in fascinating times, but the future will be urban at the end. At the same time, this urbanization process comes with certain challenges. We need to find solutions that actually provide spaces that feel human and allow people to connect.”
At this year’s Salone del Mobile, Studiomama will be creating one such space: a temporary structure within a large-scale warehouse that offers perspectives on ways we could live. The work of designers like Tolstrup provides us with new ways in which we can view and develop our future. As Hauser eloquently explains, it is “These ideas [that will] enable the people inside of cities to become the architects of the kind of world they want to live in”.
The installation will be on show at the Salone del Mobile on Via Tortona 32 in Milan from 17-22 April 2018.