The Global Village
Bringing nature into the city.
MINI LIVING and FreelandBuck add the third Urban Cabin to the global village.
What inspired MINI LIVING to create its Urban Cabin series in the first place?
What was MINI LIVING’s motivation for its Urban Cabin in Los Angeles?
LA has a lot to offer in this sense with regard to both creativity and urban potential. What we set our thematic focus on with this specific one is the fact that people in LA live a life that is very much connected to nature. However, usually they have to leave the city to experience it. We wanted to give them the opportunity to do that within the city—right in the heart of downtown.
What fascinated you most about working with MINI LIVING on this project?
The micro-cabin as a type of residence typically focuses on efficiency within a small space. What impressed us about the Urban Cabin series was the interest in integrating both efficiency and experience— encouraging and enabling interaction among many people, rather than focusing solely on the domestic needs of one occupant. This presented us a unique opportunity to focus on spatial effects and experimental material assemblies.
How did the city of Los Angeles impact the design of the Urban Cabin?
LA is characterised by remarkable architectural variation sprawling between mountains and the ocean. This diversity enables both the city and nature to be used as archetypal settings, not only for the film industry, but for everyone. We considered how the cabin would be captured and experienced, and utilised surfaces that vary between graphic alignment and kaleidoscopic effects as one moves around and through them.
What interests you most about the idea of a global village?
We find the concept of a global village fascinating in that it creates an archipelago of very different structures and spaces that form a connected network.
We embrace design that both connects you to the location and feels like home. When we travel to different cities, we are impressed by how the differences shape our experience and, ultimately, how they make us feel. With this project we immerse ourselves in these various urban fabrics before starting to create. The Urban Cabins became a testing ground for how visitors in different locations respond to our design, while at the same time providing us a fantastic opportunity to learn from various cultures, traditions and habits for our future MINI LIVING co-living hubs, with the first one opening next year in Shanghai.