MINI and SO – IL are tackling a problem you've no doubt thought about yourself. That is, given how crowded our cities are becoming, and how much we're having to compete for their space and resources, how can we improve the quality of urban life? And furthermore, how can we do this without resorting to last century's worn-out solutions? This isn't just a matter of changing fashion. High-rises and expanding suburbs have been, to put it mildly, a mixed blessing. Tower blocks and urban sprawl may have improved on the 19th century slum, but they did so at the cost of the environment and the community, leaving pollution and isolation in their wake. 'I think some of these ideas were related to a more stable style of living, which may not reflect today's reality', explained SO – IL principal Ilias Papageorgiou. 'People move more, there's more mobility, so there's been a need to rethink some of these models'. For MINI, the challenge ahead consists of finding a solution to the problem of urban living that is community-minded, energy-conscious and sensitive to the existing environment, both built and natural, while still offering you privacy and comfort. In SO – IL, MINI has found the perfect collaborators. 'In all of our projects, I think the idea of relationships, either between people or between people and their environments, has been important', explains Papageorgiou.