Question the concept of the motor car to such a degree that it becomes something else, something beyond current canons. One could hardly have expected a less radical brief from a brand such as BMW, a pioneer in avant-garde studies such as the Gina Light, especially when in relation to a design school. Thus, for their thesis projects at the conclusion of the three year course in Transportation Design, the students of the IED in Turin produced courageous proposals with original forms, set in imaginative future scenarios.

To be precise, the brief assigned by the Bavarian marque in November 2007 was to “Design the BMW of 2015, interpreting the evolution of the language and essence of the brand in the light of the expectations of future society”. Initially however, the students looked even further forward, to the year 2025. “Chris Bangle suggested that we start by breaking away completely from the usual concept of the car”, explains IED Turin director, César Mendoza.

This comes as no surprise, given Bangle’s aversion to dogmatic approaches. Instead, the students looked to natural elements – the sun, sea, wind and earth – and to music, painting and art in general for inspiration. “A video was produced for each project, with the students becoming the directors of their own visions of the future”, continues Mendoza. Therefore, at the first presentation at the BMW design centre in Munich, the concepts were expressed as moving images set against music, and by an illustrative panel.

The article continues in Auto & Design no. 172

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