The Mini Strip as “The Perfect Imperfection”

Simple and sustainable, this is the Mini Strip, a one-off Mini Concept in collaboration with fashion designer, Paul Smith. As the name suggests, the Mini Strip is an all-electric Mini Cooper SE that was completely stripped and reconstructed only to include essential elements.

With the collaboration themed “Simplicity, Transparency, Sustainability”, Smith brings in a new and fresh perspective to vehicle design with the Mini Strip. As a result, it flaunts a raw and exposed exterior left with grinding marks from the manufacturing process. This is for the car to be identified as a functional industrial objection which Smith dubbed as “the perfect imperfection.” Instead of car paint, the bodywork uses a thin transparent film as protection from corrosion.

Smith said, “I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity to rethink the iconic MINI. I know and love the existing car, but by respecting the past and looking to the future, we have created something very special.”

The Mini Strip and its sustainability

Sustainability leads the design of the Mini Strip. And as part of its eco-friendly design, it includes a 3D-printed recycled plastic material. The panoramic roof, grilled trim, and wheel covers are all made from recycled Perspex. It’s front and rear apron inserts were also from a 3D printing process.

Extending from the interior is a cabin that replaces the traditional chrome and leather elements with sustainable materials. The top of its dashboard, door shoulders and shelf are made from recycled cork. While the floor mats are from recycled rubber with a terrazzo-like pattern. Furthermore, its seats are adorned with a knitted fabric in a mono-material design.

Being an avid cyclist, Smith designed the steering wheel rim wrapped in handler bar tape. Meanwhile, a wound climbing rope dyed in vibrant orange is used for the aluminium door handles. Finally, a mesh covering at the centre of the wheels completes a sustainable interior.

The Mini Strip and its simplicity and transparency

Paul Smith removed anything unnecessary in the Mini Strip that shows its simplicity and transparency. Aside from the transparent film applied to its bodywork, it also flaunts a monotonous exterior with a colour splash on the interior.

Most of the interior elements of the Mini Strip were detached to reveal its blue-painted bodyshell. In addition, the central console was also removed. Only the window switches and start/stop button remain as physical controls, and a translucent smoked-glass piece completes the dashboard. There is also an integrated space for smartphones for infotainment. Lastly, screws as exposed throughout the interior to reveal how easily the car could be dismantled and recycled.

As Paul Smith added, “I feel very privileged that the MINI team have given me the confidence and freedom to think laterally about the approach to the design of the car. Together, I think we have created something truly unique by going back to basics, reducing things down, and stripping the car.”

Conclusion

The Mini Strip is a one-off electric Mini that reimagines a new perspective for sustainable design. Sadly, the car is not for mass production. Rather, it is a showcase of how a car can be designed and produced more sustainably. And this shows that the brilliant idea of incorporating sustainable materials into auto manufacturing can be both stylistic and beneficial to the environment.

The Mini Strip clearly shows the combination of different materials into one electric vehicle. And this goes with what Paul Smith said that things you don’t imagine should go together.

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All photos used are credit to the owners.