Snapshot: Review the plans and drawings for Jaime Hayon’s MINI Citysurfer Concept and you might think you’re looking at the schematics of a funky toy shop. Instead of toys, it is the scooter, that Hayon brings to center stage as the urban transport of the future; subtle, lightweight, and elegant enough for the historic streets of Milan.
Part of Milan’s Design Week is the Salone del Mobile, a showcase for innovative design of the future. You can find the Salone within the Laboratorio Bergognone, just off Milan’s Piazza del Rosario. In this space, Spanish Designer Jaime Hayon presents a re-invisioned mode of transportation in the imagined space of the urban future. The MINI Citysurfer Concept re-imagines the electric kick-start scooter as primary transport. On Hayon’s workdesk: black-and-white pictures of goggle-helmed motorbike racers, cinematic helmet prototypes, samples of metal, brush stroke hues and other paint schemes. You imagine the task as akin to art directing 1927’s Metropolis; creating a city of the future in all new architecture and materials. As a result, Hayon draws out the style of modernism, creating a graceful simplicity in indigo and white, copper and green. The two styles of scooters revel in their high-grade materials: anodized metal, copper detailing, and naturally-colored leather for the handlebars.
The MINI Citysurfer Concept was first presented at the Los Angeles Auto Show 2014, and garnered attention as not only a well-designed product, but a design solution to city transportation infrastructure. With the zero-emission, lightweight single-track frame of the scooter, you can easily maneuver traffic gridlocks and parking in the city. It’s merely 40 lbs, and foldable so as to allow the owner to stow it away, perhaps even take up to the office. Hayon’s collaboration with Mini Design - headed by Anders Warming - was an intensive process of research and artistic experimentation. As Warming describes, “it is a particular pleasure to witness how he re-enacts the fun part of future mobility while seriously discussing its core values with this project.” The fun and mystique is never far with Hayon’s style, as he delved into the unique technologies and crafting techniques used to produce venetian masks. Similarly, the helmet he designed for the collaboration is not simply safety equipment, but its own well-designed façade - equal parts mask and protection. It is just this kind of work, mingling history and art with quality design that makes Milan Design Week so intriguing.