Most people know BMW for being a car manufacturer. Some know BMW for being the global car partner of Art Basel. Yet, besides these factors, I’m identifying BMW as the pioneer in innovation. At this year’s Art Basel, I took the occasion to meet Adrian van Hooydonk as well as BMW’s Vision iNext concept car inside an artistic setting (the light installation “SYNC” by artist Daan Roosegaarde), to speak about the Future (of driving – and being driven).
Adrian van Hooydonk is Head of Design at BMW Group. Since 1992 at BMW. And since 10 years he has been in this function. From a perspective of sustainability and purpose, he’s making sure that all brands develop into a healthy future.
The future is unknown. Design and technology have a lot to do with future.Technology from now on will develop fast. I think its very much up to us in Design what we make out of it and how we deliver that technology to the customer and to the world. I tend to think that this is going to be essential.
The purpose of our BMWi models is to be a source of inspiration for new technology and the future. In a way, we see BMWi as our in-house start-up. We are a traditional company, over 100 years old, and have found a creative yet rebellious solution. The mission of BMWi is to „think very different.“ The first cars that we’ve made question pretty much everything the way cars are built. There is zero emission, in the i3 and i8. The theme at BMWi is still to think far ahead.
At BMW we take sustainability to the point, that even in terms of design we work a lot with recycled materials in our i models and use less energy to produce our vehicles. We look at every aspect of mobility to combine it with sustainability. A concept that we have been developing for over 10 years and we are proud to be a pioneer in taking this holistic approach from the very beginning.
I’m lucky that my hobby turned into my work. It kind of forces me to live in the future. My team and I are now working on products for 2023 and these products, when they come out, they have to be relevant and they have to stay relevant for another 7 years at least as technology is changing so quickly.
My mantra is: „If you can imagine it, there is a very good chance that it will happen. The thing is, what you make out of it.“
The future will be technology driven, and we see it in a way, that we want to make the technology disappear through our design: „Shy-Tech“ as opposed to „High-Tech“.
This is a concept we came up with, while developing our new concept vehicle the BMW Vision iNext. That, followed by the idea of how we see the next ten years, in which cars will become intelligent. Cars will be able to drive autonomously and in this vehicle we have shown some ideas how life on board will change – a lot.
Luxury is individual and people are aware of what goes on in the world. They make deliberate choices. As opposed to many years ago. You have to earn your way into people’s lives and it’s not just the product that counts. It’s also the whole attitude of the company and the way you produce your products and the way you deal with sustainability. It’s the whole production process that counts. This is what I would call *Conscious Luxury”.
# We will be talking to a lot of products – and they will be talking back to us.
# Mobility and the urban environment will be at zero emission.
# I think a lot of our products will be able to drive autonomously. Our cars will be able to do it but the drivers will still be in control. I’ve spoken to a lot of customers. And they are not afraid of it. The idea is to have less accidents.
Photography: BMW Group, Thomas Buchwalder for BMW
Art Installation: SYNC by Daan Roosegaarde
Car: BMW Vision iNEXT Concept Car
Founded in 2014, re-launched in 2019 – by Nel-Olivia Waga. It is an international luxury lifestyle blog, that features stories under the aspect of a conscious mindset. It collaborates with leading brands and specialists who share the idea of generating a positive impact in the world. Based in Zurich and London, it covers local hotspots and global trends around sustainability, innovation, well-being, beauty, travel, time, art, business and charity.
Nel-Olivia Waga is the Founder & Publisher of HER/etiquette. She is a Marketing Specialist, an Author and Entrepreneur, most passionate about well-being, travel and art. Her work can regularly be seen in her column on FORBES. Her consulting studio HER CONCEPT, creates and co-ordinates holistic marketing projects for private banks, luxury brands and hotels around the world – based on strategies with passion, purpose and sustainable impact.
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