Thomas Sycha is the new head of exterior design at Mini, and vows that the British company’s design direction will still be fun and emotional in the years to come.
BMW Blog recently had the opportunity to speak with the 55-year-old Polish designer who took over his new post on July 1.
“The future is something positive for me,” Sycha said. “That’s what drives us all here…I strongly believe that a Mini will retain its sympathetic expression. To exaggerate somewhat: even if it were to become a self-driving box, the experience in a Mini would always be very personal and radiate sympathy. Just what form that would take is what we’re working on. The Mini experience has to be charged with optimism: when you see your Mini again in the morning, you instantly sense that it’s probably going to be a good day.”
“To be specific: for me, Mini will definitely remain emotional in the future, despite the ubiquitous process of digitalization, or indeed precisely because of”, he added.
There is no doubt that electrification, as well as the introduction of advanced autonomous technologies, will drastically reinvent the designs of future cars. This is already apparent in vehicles like the ID.3 that feature short and rear overhangs and small footprints yet sport very spacious, compared to their exterior dimensions, interiors. Some have concerns this could mean vehicles would lose their personality, but Sycha is eager to ensure that doesn’t happen at Mini.
“I would like a Mini to still be immediately and authentically recognizable, trigger positive emotions and perhaps also have an impact on other design areas. So generally speaking: the challenge is to retain the iconic character traits of a MINI and translate them into the new technoid world – so that a MINI doesn’t become a soulless, self-propelled capsule in the future,” Sycha commented.
One way the company could do this would be to retain its iconic round headlights well into the future, he designer suggested, although we’re pretty sure there are other styling cues that can be carried over in the next generations.