This year, in celebration of the launch of the all-new MINI Countryman, MINI Space wanted to run a brand new kind of competition - and so the MINI Countryman Center Rail Product Design Competition was born.
This time, instead of giving you a creative theme to interpret through original photography and graphic design, we challenged you to design a product that could be produced and manufactured as an accessory for the Center Rail - a unique feature of the MINI Countryman that runs straight down the middle of the car and functions as a track where you can attach all kinds of useful items for secure storage and easy access.
Because we've never run this kind of competition before, the MINI Space Team was excited to see how the community (that means you!) would respond to this new kind of challenge.
Before long we were receiving a flurry of impressively creative submissions. Useful, playful, whimsical, practical - the entries were incredibly diverse. From food to flowers, from complex entertainment systems for gaming and music to bookshelves and reading lights with a certain "why didn't I think of that?" simplicity, your designs gave us a vast wealth of innovative ideas to choose from.
Narrowing it down to a group of winners was no easy task, but in the end our jury came up with five entries that stood out.
First Prize: A trip for two to the Paris Motor Show in October + design produced as a prototype
"Fire in the MINI" by satoshi_91 from Berlin, Germany:
Thought-provoking and eye-catching, the delightfully jaunty idea of installing a contained fireplace inside a MINI was too sexy to pass up. Imagine heading out to a weekend in the countryside or a romantic ski retreat, and setting the mood with a crackling hearth and some piping hot cocoa before you even get outside the city limits...
Second Prize: Apple MacBook Pro + design produced as a prototype
Many submissions addressed the question of how to deal with boredom on long road trips, but the judges especially loved the idea of taking the classic family sing-along to the next level by getting everyone in the car involved in a competitive karaoke showdown. Mr. Townsend's submission very creatively engages every member of the family in the action: in his design the driver, rightfully, gets the final word with a special voting button.
Third Prize: Apple MacBook Pro + Design produced as a Prototype:
The roomy interior of the MINI Countryman just begs to be outfitted with an iPad stand, providing a great way to stay connected and have fun while you're on the road. Your submissions explored many creative solutions for how to accommodate the device, but this design's incorporation of a horizontal position for multiplayer gaming placed it just a cut above the rest.
Fourth Prize: Apple iPod Touch
"Extra Steering Wheel" by dougRG from Guatemala City, Guatemala
Who doesn't remember the days when they watched the driver as a child from the backseat and thought about how exciting it would be to one day get behind the wheel? This playful design gives backseat drivers of all ages the chance to feel like a real MINI driver.
Our designers were thrilled by the idea of using the interior of the MINI Countryman as a blank canvas where creative impulses could run wild. More than just road-trip fun, it's a fresh, new way to "customize" your MINI.
Popular Vote Prize: Apple iTunes Store Credit for Approx. 100 songs
"MINI Projector" by jcd0011 from Brooklyn, New York
Congratulations to all of our winners! Keep an eye out on MINI Space for photos of the completed prototypes and pics from the Paris Motor Show.
To participate in our current design competition, click here.