Friday, September 16, 2016

MINI LIVING 'Forests': spaces between spaces


At the London Design Festival which runs from tomorrow for a week, MINI is collaborating with Asif Khan, whose installation MINI LIVING “Forests” explores three interpretations of “spaces between spaces", better known as 'third places' (something that falls between work and home, often used by freelancers e.g. coffee shops). They are each designed to encourage specific uses: relaxation, getting together or productivity, using plants to improve city living.

“My response is inspired by the Japanese concept of ‘shinrin yoku’, which literally means ‘forest bathing’," explains Asif Khan. "It means every sense switches to absorb the forest atmosphere, what you hear, what you smell, even the feeling underfoot. On another level, we use plants as a tool to assert our personal space at its boundary with public space, whether on our desk at the office or at the perimeter of our home."

The three installations are located within walking distance of one another in Shoreditch, London, a deliberate contrast to Shoreditch’s urban setting. They are all rectangular forms, with walls made from several layers of transparent, corrugated polycarbonate. The green of the plants shines through the walls while from the inside, the materials of the walls offer a diffused connection with the outside world and, say the designers, "generate an intimate, private space amid the hustle and bustle beyond".

The three rooms that make up the installation differ in size and intended use. The Connect Space is a place for meeting up and catching up, the Create Space offers an ambience conducive to work (specifically for making pitches and presentations), and the Relax Space has lots of plants and provides a space in which to take a step back and relax. Visitors enter via the underside of the installation and there is a bench inside on which to take a breather. 

The MINI LIVING “Forests” installation is open to the public and available for use during the London Design Festival (17 – 25 September) at Vince Court, Charles Square Gardens, and the
Corner of Pitfield Street and Charles Square.
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