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These crazy, gorgeous seats are an 'allegorical interpretation' of the BMWi line


You may not look at the trio of concentric seats above and think "expensive electronic car," but French designers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec are nonetheless calling their "Quiet Motion" exhibit at this year's Solone del Mobile an "allegorical interpretation" of just that. Beyond simply looking pretty, the exhibit is intended to represent BMW's history of working with "designers spanning a wide range of industries" -- BMW's long-running Art Car project, for instance -- as well as employ the sustainable materials used in the BMWi line. They're calling the slowly rotating platforms a version of a carousel, and you'll be able to get your gluteus maximus on the installation starting tomorrow through April 14th. Whether it inspires you to buy a BMWi vehicle ... well, that's another question; at very least, it's a rather unique photo opp (if you're in Milan, that is).

Gallery: "Quiet Motion" exhibit (BMWi / Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec) | 20 Photos

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BMW i in partnership with Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec present the installation QUIET MOTION during the Salone del Mobile. A contemporary interpretation of a new mobility concept.

08.04.2013 BMW i. Salone del Mobile 2013. Quiet Motion (04/2013) Munich/Milan. In partnership with the internationally renowned designers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, BMW i presents an installation entitled QUIET MOTION on the occasion of the Salone del Mobile 2013. Against the backdrop of the world's biggest design furniture fair, the BMW Group marks the anniversary of its creative collaboration with designers spanning a wide range of industries.

For this project, the Bouroullecs found their inspiration in the focus of BMW i on lightweight construction, transparency, environmentally friendly materials and the new, quiet driving experience of the sustainably designed vehicles by BMW i. The upshot is an installation that rotates slowly and silently, reminiscent of a carousel. It is an allegorical interpretation of movement and contemplation as well as of the forward-looking vehicle design of BMW i in aesthetic and pared-down form, using sustainable BMW i materials. Visitors to the Salone del Mobile are invited to experience QUIET MOTION from 9 to 14 April 2013 in a place of tranquillity – the cloister of the monastery that houses the Facoltà Teologica dell'Italia Settentrionale.

Visionary design based on sustainable materials and generous space.

BMW i develops vehicles with an unwavering focus on sustainability and forward-looking technology. By distancing themselves from the complexity of the vehicles as such, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec have evolved the underlying values of this holistic approach of BMW i and the new car design it ushers in. They draw on a typically BMW i eco-friendly, select mix of materials. The carbon for the revolutionary lightweight design of the BMW i bodywork was created using renewable energy sources and is a key material along with the interior leather that has been treated using vegetable tannins. Without any further chemical application, it is nevertheless very hardwearing and boasts a unique look. The designers also used fabrics made of the sustainable wool yarn that will feature in the BMW i seat upholstery. QUIET MOTION proposes to interpret the question of the interior environment of a car with a more domestic approach.

The installation comprises different levels of slowly turning platforms partially made of cork; this renewable material is sourced from one of the world's largest cork manufacturers, Grupo Amorim in Portugal. A column of rigid yet extremely lightweight carbon connects the platforms and the fibreglass roofs above them. On the upper side the roofs are coated with weather-resistant BMW i bodywork paint, while the lining on the underside is made from the fabric of the future BMW i roof liner. Seating areas covered in the same soft leather as the
BMW i car seats invite visitors to sit and linger for a while. Electric motors beneath the floor of the installation are responsible for the gentle rotation of the harmoniously configured platforms.

Thanks to its sheer spaciousness (the installation measures 17 x 14 metres) and the sense of wellbeing it generates, QUIET MOTION is a place of contemplation. Around the platforms are curtains of fabric strips that materialize a transparent frontier between the interior of platforms and the surrounding environment. The textile used for this originates from the vehicle design while the technology of the fabric strips was first used by the designers in their "Clouds" modular room divider system for Kvadrat.

Cutting-edge mobility and architecture define the moment of calm.

The Salone del Mobile is the world's biggest furniture fair of its kind. Over the course of a few days, leading designers come to Milan to display their latest creations. The Facoltà Teologica dell'Italia Settentrionale will open its doors to the international public for six days, the installation set up in its cloister being designed to spark a dialogue on a newly conceived and developed driving experience by BMW i.
"We have created a poetic abstraction of modern nomadism by bringing motion into harmony with its surroundings and rendering visible the kind of view you could get through a car window," says Erwan Bouroullec. His brother Ronan looks forward to the discussion that QUIET MOTION will generate: "We will have achieved a great deal if visitors to the Salone del Mobile talk about how silent and respectful of the environment mobility could be in the future. In a way, we tried to associate more contemplative values to the automotive industry."
Benoit Jacob, Head of BMW i Design, is captivated by the French designer duo's approach: "With their ability to reduce a form to its essence and through their choice of materials and the elegance of their objects, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec have earned global recognition. They have also applied this reductive approach to their interpretation of BMW i values. QUIET MOTION is about a timely discourse on a new concept of mobility and a focus on sustainability. At its core are innovative solutions such as alternative drive systems tailored to the urban environment. Our aim is to offer consumers an opportunity to rethink by presenting them with new concepts from the automotive industry."

Clean and clever. The holistic concept of BMW i.

BMW i aspires to bring together modern design and environmentally friendly technology and materials to elicit a new understanding of premium. At BMW i, the holistic eco-friendly approach comprises the entire value added chain: starting with a sustainable development process, production and sourcing,
BMW i vehicles offer intelligent electric drive, the use of carbon for revolutionary lightweight construction – so-called LifeDrive architecture – and materials from renewable resources in the interior. The response of BMW i to the social, ecological and economic challenges of our day is to offer more efficient, agile and comfortable driving fun. QUIET MOTION renders visible its forward-looking, clear and open design and highlights the visionary approach of electric mobility.

Facoltà Teologica dell'Italia Settentrionale
Via dei Cavalieri del Santo Sepolcro 3, Milan
Opening hours
09.04 – 16.04 / 10.00 – 20.00 hrs

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