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Springboard for the Next Design Generation


Munich / Milan. Italy is probably the country where the word design has the strongest meaning. When the Italian branch of BMW started thinking about a competition to promote young designers, it came as a natural thought to approach BMW subsidiary DesignworksUSA, the global creative think tank of BMW Group, to be their partner. Together a platform for the design offspring in Italy was initiated, the BMW Creative Lab, implemented with an annually changing Italian partner company. For the first edition it was Fratelli Guzzini, a company with a 100 year tradition that is known globally for their colorful cooking and tableware. The participating students were given a challenging design task in November 2012 which they had to work on over a period of eight months. The winner will be granted a twelve month training period in the two partner companies to further immerse into the practical world of design.

Friendly competition between students.

The BMW Creative Lab aims at supporting young design students who are about to join the workforce by enabling them to gather industry knowhow – a vital ingredient today when starting a career. Set up as a contest to create a friendly competition between the students and push for even better ideas the participants are asked to look at design from an overarching perspective that reaches beyond automotive design while still focusing on the theme of mobility. Each year the initiative is run under an individual theme which is derived out of the partner companies shared interest in specific design challenges and which mirrors sociological and cultural phenomena and trends.

“Food in Movement“

In 2012, with Guzzini as a partner, the theme was “Food in Movement”. It takes up a trend visible in many of the big cities today: Eating out in restaurants competes more and more with the alternative of cooking together at home with friends. This is partly for financial reasons but also cooking as a past time activity seems to be more and more appealing to people. Under the theme “Food in Movement” the participating students were encouraged to think about the way we process, transport, present and consume food. They were asked to create a design solution that is innovative, daring and attractive yet financially marketable, practical and responsible. The competition phase was monitored and consulted by both DesignworksUSA and the partner company Guzzini to evaluate the progress of the student`s work and to support them in the design concept and development phase. The students were challenged to think outside the box, to take on a macro perspective and to manage the boundaries product designers are confronted with when designing for production today.

For the first series of the Creative Lab the students had started working on their concepts in November 2012. “We were looking for a design solution that combines different stages of enjoying food, from preparation to mobility to presentation. Also we wanted the design to convey a convincing story. We were searching for a modern, premium and very personal product that speaks to an emerging new lifestyle”, says Sonja Schiefer from BMW Group DesignworksUSA. “When we consulted the students in the development phase we payed close attention to their solutions regarding the various stages of the product use. In each stage the product has to display different functions and communicate these. For us it was particularly interesting to see how the students interpreted the travel aspect of the food dish they were asked to design”, she continues.

In June 2013 a jury composed of Sonja Schiefer, Studio Director of the Munich branch of DesignworksUSA, Domenico Guzzini, President of Fratelli Guzzini, Aldo Colonetti, Director of the European Institute of Design and Roberto Olivi from BMW Italy evaluated the design projects and the students presented the results of their work as real prototypes to a large audience of media representatives in Milan.

The Solutions of the Students:

Attila Veress: His concept makes the slightly outdated lunchbox fit for the future: The practical mini container is a true multi-tasker: It’s upper part can be used directly in the oven.

Francesca Terzi: She interprets the theme of mobility and food in a consistent manner. Her solution is not only for taking food from one place to the other - even the porcelain can be safely transported to the house of the friends.

Federico Maria Elli: His solution turns food into a holistic experience. It contains recipe cards listing the products needed. In the specially designed strong paper bags the ingredients are taken to the house of friends, the food is presented on plates that can be recycled afterwards.

Michela Voglino: Taking inspiration from the classic telescopic tumbler, commonly used in camping, the product is a container that enables people to transport food safely, easily and in a stylish manner. It turns into a dish that can be used to present the food just as stylish on the table.

Giovanni Bartolozzi: His concept is about simplicity. Cold drinks are stored in the top part, hot dishes are placed in the bottom – both nicely separated to keep the temperature stable. The concept is highly functional suggesting a material taken from the water sports which is technologically advanced for the food sector.

The winner of BMW Creative Lab 2012/13.

The winner of the first BMW Creative Lab is Attila Veress, a Hungarian student from European Institute of Design in Milan. “His project 2.0 is a perfect interpretation of the concept food in movement”, says Domenico Guzzini, president of the company. “His design interprets a very special Italian tradition: The lunchbox, affectionately called ‘Schiscetta’ by the Italians. His concept turns the lunchbox into a modern product that makes it possible to store, cook, transport and present food in an intriguing way while respecting all through the various stages the Italian art of the table”, he continues. Attila will now have the opportunity to participate in a training period lasting a total of twelve months with the two partner companies starting at DesignworksUSA in autumn 2013.

About Guzzini

Established in 1912, the seed of innovation was always present in Fratelli Guzzini. A constant striving to achieve an ideal combination of practicality and aesthetic appeal has always encouraged Guzzini to explore inquisitively, both in researching new materials and finding interesting and original design concepts. The company strongly believes that the future is multiple materials and multiple formats. In recent years, Fratelli Guzzini has been working on a basic idea: Making new plastic materials as appealing as glass, wood and porcelain. Guzzini products can be found in homes, restaurants and hotels in 110 countries throughout the world.

BMW Group DesignworksUSA

BMW Group DesignworksUSA is a creative consultancy that’s been driving innovation for forty years. Acquired by BMW Group in 1995, DesignworksUSA enables its parent company as well as internationally-renowned clients outside the automotive industry to grow their businesses through design and a portfolio of creative consulting services. With clients including Coca Cola, Dassault Aviation, Embraer, HEAD, HP, Intermarine, John Deere, Microsoft, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), Neil Pryde, Siemens, Sennheiser and Varian Medical Systems, DesignworksUSA is deeply immersed in a broad cross-section of industries. Combining cross-fertilized knowledge with strategic long-term perspectives and global context provided by studios in Los Angeles, Munich, and Shanghai, DesignworksUSA draws upon its unique and vibrant resources to create the future.

The BMW Group

The BMW Group is the leading premium manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles in the world with its BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brands. As a global company, the BMW Group operates 28 production and assembly facilities in 13 countries and has a global sales network in more than 140 countries.

In 2012, the BMW Group sold about 1.85 million cars and more than 117,000 motorcycles worldwide. The profit before tax for the financial year 2012 was euro 7.82 billion on revenues amounting to euro 76.85 billion. At 31 December 2012, the BMW Group had a workforce of 105,876 employees.

The success of the BMW Group has always been built on long-term thinking and responsible action. The company has therefore established ecological and social sustainability throughout the value chain, comprehensive product responsibility and a clear commitment to conserving resources as an integral part of its strategy. As a result of its efforts, the BMW Group has been ranked industry leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes for the last eight years.







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