“10 questions to…” Oliver Heilmer.

Posted on 12. Jan, 2018 by in BMW Canada

For Oliver Heilmer, Head of MINI Design given Sep 2017, design
is not usually a career, it’s a vocation. The Munich local has been
driven by a enterprise to emanate new cars given he was a boy. Here, the
43-year-old tells us about his thought of good design, his skeleton for the
destiny of a MINI code and a clarity of arrogance and adventurous they require.

1. Why did we turn a automobile designer?
Ever since
we can remember, cars have totally preoccupied me. I’ve always drawn
cars – and always had a large grin on my face during a same time. It
started with scrawling additional spoilers onto photos of cars in magazines
when we was a immature kid. Later we began to pattern and pull my possess cars.
It was shortly transparent that we wanted to be a automobile designer. Back then, this
wasn’t an determined career as such, like medicine or law. So as you
can imagine, my family were rather sceptical. A pre-university
internship during a obvious carmaker in Stuttgart after my Abitur
[secondary propagandize withdrawal exams] strengthened my self-assurance that this
was what we wanted to do for a rest of my life. Not that we would have
guessed behind afterwards that we would finish adult where we am today.

2. Where do we find your inspiration? What gets your juices
In essence, we am preoccupied by anything that
fuels my imagination and sparks my creativity. For example, we find
song intensely moving – anything from jazz to hip hop. However,
a cultured of technical products also excites me. I’m meditative of
products that have been grown and built by engineers from a purely
technical standpoint – though that still secrete unusual beauty. You
might be informed with a Faema espresso machines from a 1950s and
60s, for example. That’s a arrange of product I’m articulate about. Since
we was a tiny child I’ve also been preoccupied by a mix harvester
during my grandparents’ farm. we was mesmerised by it and we could spend
days pushing on it and usually gazing during it. And it goes though observant I
like pleasing things. Although beauty is, of course, really subjective.

3. What do we consider of as “good design”?
me, good pattern is unchanging and reflects a purpose. The duty of
a product has to be immediately transparent from a form and, above all,
usable. It doesn’t indispensably have anything to do with beauty.
Another partial of good pattern for me is that it is not too loud.
But during a same time it should polarise, during slightest to some degree, or
it will risk being anonymous. There are many examples of automobile designs
that primarily polarise opinion though notwithstanding this – or maybe because
of it – fire a route for a whole new automobile segment. The BMW X6 is a
box in point. Good pattern does not indispensably need to come from a
designer, nonetheless a certain feeling for aesthetics is required. The
metalwork for a bodies of many classical cars was beaten into shape
regulating wood. The guys doing it during a time weren’t designers, but
quite means craftsmen with usually this clarity for a togetherness of
form and function. It’s doubtful they knew many about theories such as
how to emanate aspect line sources, accelerate surfaces or position
highlights. They usually found a proceed of doing it right.

4. What does MINI meant for you?
To me, MINI
embodies a assured and complicated opinion distant private from oppulance in
perfect size. It doesn’t matter how exclusively or expensively equipped
a MINI is, it is always compress on a outside. In my eyes, this shows
that people who expostulate a MINI do so for their possess enjoyment. Of course,
they wish to be sold and demonstrate their celebrity through
their automobile to a degree. But they do that by a middle values of
a car. In my view, MINI is classless in how it achieves this. And
afterwards we have to bear in mind that many MINI business have a unique
and surpassing tie with their cars. MINI is a really emotional
brand, and we don’t find that really mostly in this form in a automobile world.

5. What excites we many about your pursuit as a car
As automobile designers we are actively formulating an
critical partial of all a futures and we are always looking to make
a best out of this sparkling time. Of course, we don’t know exactly
what a destiny will bring. But I’m certain a technological changes
we’re experiencing will be positive. Knowing that we can minister to
this routine is all we need to get out of bed in a morning. Another
thing that excites me about my pursuit is that pattern gives we a chance
to stir it adult and plea certain things. we find that extremely
energising. But it’s not adequate for me to make final without
suggestions. In a few years, we wish to be means to demeanour in a mirror
and contend I’ve finished all we could to pierce MINI pattern and
therefore a MINI code into a future. Preserving existing
achievements, things that are already impressive, is not where my
concentration lies.

6. Where do we see MINI in a destiny and what arrange of things
are we penetrating to inspire as Head of MINI Design?
proceed we see it, MINI is a code that is not usually means of constantly
developing, changing even, though that needs to do so. The product range
we’ve put together during MINI is really good. From a peculiarity indicate of view,
in particular, we’re scaling larger heights than ever – and
outperforming many of a competitors. However, it’s also transparent that
a trail can not usually be evolutionary. We’ve got some large equipment on our
agenda: unconstrained driving, electric mobility, digitalisation and
common services, to name though a few. And we need to be moulding these
areas. To this end, a pivotal thing for me is that a piece of MINI
stays authentic. After all, MINI is an civic code and that’s
something it should continue to consolidate in a years to come. So for
me, MINI in a destiny will be pristine electric. Clearly, many still
needs to be finished in terms of infrastructure. But I’m certain about
a future. Another critical emanate that will occupy a minds a
whole lot some-more than it does now even is a attribute between car
and customer. We know that a MINI business have a special
tie to their automobile and also a brand. So wouldn’t it be great,
in a future, to also be means to promulgate and correlate in a way
we’re usually now informed with between people and good friends,
instead of around menus and clicks? we see good intensity for MINI as a
colonize here.

7. Let’s speak about electric mobility: What is a most
appealing thing about formulating an all-electric MINI and how does the
pattern of such a automobile differ from that of one with a conventional
explosion engine?
New technologies are always
sparkling for us as designers, since they inject uninformed appetite and can
therefore trigger something totally new. The electric expostulate system
and a wrapping advantages concede us to plea determined geometric
solutions. The expostulate complement is significantly smaller, though the
batteries take adult some-more space than a fuel tank they replace. In the
future, this will give us whole new freedoms as distant as interior space
and proportions are concerned. And we see good intensity here, in
particular, for MINI.

8. You’re now operative on a initial all-electric MINI,
that you’ll betray in 2019. What can we expect?
all-electric MINI will be a genuine MINI. In other words, it will
vital on tension and have a minimal footprint. The car’s electric
inlet will be manifest in a sum – e.g. radical and
innovative sum that anxiety a normal MINI universe but
that during a same time mix it with new technologies. 3D printing
will positively play a role. we can’t give divided some-more details, as we’re
still operative intensively on a pattern and there are still decisions
to be taken.

9. So what can we pattern in destiny from MINI and, above all,
from MINI design?
MINI does not dwell on a present
or a past, even if we do have a clever story to call on. The
classical Mini was designed precisely for a sold purpose and
grown in response to a absolute need. This is one of a reasons
behind a standing as an idol today. I’m penetrating to plan this core
serve into a destiny – with all of a possibilities that this has
to offer us. It is this balancing act between tradition and future
concentration that creates my work during MINI Design so impossibly sparkling for me.
At a same time, MINI has a permit – an requirement even – to
provoke. Indeed, MINI is an intensely romantic brand. We could and
should concede ourselves to be some-more adventurous some-more often, even if that
comes with a risk of creation mistakes. Ultimately, we see, it’s about
emotion. For me, MINI is no longer usually a product; we see it as
embodying an attitude. MINI is about consistent change and a urban
environment; a heart beats to a stroke of a city. And for me
MINI is definitively about farrago – a really conflicting of
monoculture. MINI can't be pigeonholed. All in all, we can sum this
adult as a elemental openness. And we trust that MINI has to work with
others significantly some-more in destiny in sequence to grasp this. By that
we meant collaborations that don’t usually have a estimable knock-on
effect, though that many importantly consider over a bounds of the
automobile itself – as we have already finished with MINI LIVING and MINI
FASHION. I’m assured that MINI as a code also works over a car.
And I’m penetrating to accelerate a connectivity essential for this in a future.

10. How will that demeanour in detail?
With an eye on
stream developments, we are, of course, seeking ourselves what will
set a MINI detached in future. Will it be a floating roof or the
hexagonal radiator grille? Or will a pattern of a interior
establish a exterior, given a vital space inside a automobile that
will come a proceed as a outcome of unconstrained driving? However it
happens, a charge will be to make a MINI recognizable as a MINI, even
if – to exaggerate a indicate – during some indicate in a destiny a roads
will be dominated by unconstrained rectilinear boxes. I’m in no doubt
that a concentration in a destiny will shift. We will no longer be creating
usually cars, though experiences. MINI will be recognizable by the
knowledge and by an honest judgment that will continue to excite and
mount detached from a crowd. we pattern a elemental needs of our
business to sojourn identical in a future: they wish to keep on the
pierce and up-to-date, they wish their needs to be expected and, in
so doing, they wish to be helped to suffer interacting with their
vehicle. Take a instance of connectivity. Here, we’re articulate not
usually about arrangement sizes, though a romantic tie during usage. A
executive emanate here is interaction, and this is something we have to
shape. One proceed for MINI here would be to pull a technology
compulsory into a credentials and instead offer a MINI knowledge in
hallmark style. There is a large event here, though also a major
challenge. MINI has a possibility to follow a new path, to go a possess way.


Thank we really much!


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