FAULT Focus: Experiencing The Next 100 years project with MINI Future Shapers

Last night FAULT were invited to take part in Mini’s “The Future Shapers’ event held at London’s Roundhouse. While details were cryptic beforehand, we soon found out that it was truly out of this world…or out of this time we should say.

Anders Warming the current Head of Mini design was the first speaker of the night, starting with the history of Mini he brought us to the present before going into details about their exciting plans for the future which you’ll find pictured below.

The concept car’s features are numerous and rather than discuss them all, let’s move onto what we found most gripping.

The most fascinated concept for us was the community trait of the whole project. The Mini of the future will transcend the physical body of the car; in essence every Mini will be your Mini. The big reveal isn’t how Mini plans to innovate the physical design of the body, no, the big reveal is their future plans to innovate mobility as a whole.

Imagine for a second that Siri wasn’t a fancy bank of triggers with corresponding answers, but instead actually knew your calendar and mood and feelings towards each entry. Knew that you were grumpy in the mornings and often late for afternoon meetings. Now imagine it was also your personal driver in every Mini you entered. Mini plan to make this a reality.



Warming stresses, that Mini customers share a unique bond with their vehicles. Mini plan to direct this bond to an AI. In theory, the Mini body would act similar to an automotive Boris Bike. The AI is what you’ll bond with, the same voice that says farewell to you at Heathrow airport will be the same voice that greets you at JFK airport for instance. It’s all very exciting!

The real question is do we believe this is a possible, feasible and monetizable model for the future? I think so. It’s 2016 and most of us living in the inner-city don’t even own cars. IF I need to get around in a car, I’ll simply order an Uber. From this understanding, we aren’t 100 years from what Mini are proposing. In fact, I believe this is feasible within this century. Of course, only time will tell, it wasn’t long before the once exciting concept of flying cars proved more trouble than they are worth. However automated cars already being field-tested and every day we see AI taking leaps and bounds which add to my vote of confidence that this could become a reality.


Following the discussion on the future of mobility, Magnus LindKvist (what a name!) took to the stage and began the talk on the future of lifestyle.

Leading with AI, Magnus philosophised that “If it’s hard for a human to perform, it’ll be easy for a robot to perform and vice versa”. Rather subjective, but paired with below footage of ‘BigDog’ military project which cost millions to produce, it all became clear that the statement is rather accurate and as a creative, I felt a great swell of smugness at how safe my job is from automated machines; Andy in accounts is not so lucky…


For our readers working within the fashion sector, Magnus made great points about the rapidly declining high-street consumer, “Stores are designed for the slow walking shoppers of yesterday”. This was a new take on the issue for us, it’s funny how while many of us still enjoy high street shopping, it is now seen as an event. Unless it’s an urgent necessity, you’ll only find me browsing the high street on the weekends when I have the time to be the slow walker of yesteryear.

The final highly resonating point made was the notion that “tech takes the expensive and makes it available to everyone”. In the year 2000, just 1% of people in Africa owned a mobile phone, in 2014 this skyrocketed to 600 million people which is about 56% of their population. This has impacted rural and urban areas exponentially, allowing for once small traders to have access to the global market which was once out of their reach. This is one of a long list of advantages, technology has to expand global education with free digital literature and courses which domino into further technological advancements.


Finally, FAULT Favourite artist Margot Bowman took to the stage to discuss her latest project, ‘Data Portraits. We’re introduced to the body of work with the words “In 2016 out identities are be flattered, represented by one size fits all selfies and unemotional data graphs”. Data Portraits is Margot’s way of exploring ways that a future technology could one interoperate the sitter and display a visual and emotional representation of them.

Margot uses identical twins as models for her project to help display that while the current technology can display each set of twins near identically, future innovations could lead to technology which would display the unique differences in their personalities. It’s a great decision, speaking to many twins about the project, we found that the concept of “self” or “I am not we” is something that many twins struggle with especially in early life.


Asking questions throughout the individual photo-shoots, Margot attempted to pick out key emotional data hidden from a bare lens. The final products are wonderfully captured portraits layers with looping digital artworks inspired by Margot’s interpretations of the sitter’s personality and mood.


All in all, we had a great and informative night, it was wonderful to see such a diverse line-up of speakers discussing their thoughts on what the future holds for technology and lifestyle. It was especially great to see the inclusion of Margot as we find that artists are often excluded when it comes to discussing  technology or the future so it made for a great change to hear her thoughts on how tech might impact the art world in years to come.

Words: Miles Holder

Visitors to the Roundhouse exhibition, The BMW Group Future Experience, will be able to see a future MINI, a “Vision Vehicle” that demonstrates applications of new design and technology in an iconic car.
The exhibition is open daily from 10am – 5pm and runs until Sunday 26th June. Admission is FREE. Visit mininext100.co.uk for more details.