27 Jun 2016
It's not everyday you get a chance to see the future well, not 30 years into the future anyway but, at the Roundhouse in London, that's exactly what MINI and BMW are letting you do.
We had a sneak peak; an extensive 'access all areas' introduction to the philosophy behind MINI's vision of the automotive future or, the future of mobility, as they were keen to emphasis.
This wasn't about engines, camshafts, valves, and whatever else goes under the bonnet of a car. This was, to some extent, about the aesthetics of a visionary car; but, mostly, it was about what a car of the future can do for you.
MINI have clearly thought long and hard about what people will need from a car tomorrow and what we’d love from a car today. They weren’t trying to impress us with some new stereo or a fancy colour scheme (in fact, the colour scheme of the car will match you; chosen for each individual by the car itself - honestly!).
Nope, they're looking to impress with a car that seamlessly integrates into your life and becomes uniquely personal to you, while conversely also being shared by the wider community.
As a piece of design, this car looks the part. Long sweeping rear lights, wrapped around that short recognisable body of a MINI, which seems to be a featureless screen of perfectly merged metal and glass. No door handles, the car opens when you tap your foot on the floor and displays your own, personal motif on the door, once you get in.
Inside, the car is open to the world outside, almost from top-to-bottom, with a minimalist dashboard of brass, mesh, a couple of numbers indicating speed and direction, and a round device that is, literally, designed to inspire you.
And, the emphasis there is on 'you'. The MINI of the future will be personal to you, knowing your diary, your driving position, your preferred routes, while tapping into the wider MINI community to learn road conditions, traffic, and even ideas for where you might like to go.
But, at the same time, all this dynamic personalisation means that your MINI can be everyone's MINI, with the car adapting and adjusting to any MINI driver who uses it. That means, in the future we could all share our cars with each other (well, MINIs anyway), moving from one car to another and finding it perfectly set-up for our requirements.
It’s a strange thought, yet one that you could see working well, especially in the city. With Airbnb, Uber, Santander cycles, DriveNow, and the like, people are used to sharing bikes, workspaces, rooms, apartments, and cars. Now, you’d be sharing a car that arrives as someone else’s, but quickly transforms to become yours, exactly the way you like it.
It’s a neat vision of the future and one that MINI deliver with a shining, sparkling, Minority Reportstyle of a car, that (for those who visited the Roundhouse) seems a lot closer to today than it does to 2030.
To find about more about MINI’s Vision Vehicle, visit www.mininext100.co.uk or @MINIUK for more information. #MINI #NEXT100
24 Jun 2016
These fun Mexicorn on-the-cob skewers definitely made me smile. Pick up a set of two here.
Myself and Hollie are currently on holiday, eating our way around America - next stop Las Vegas! You can find us on Snapchat at mat_buckets for daily updates, and on Instagram @mat_buckets for the usual photo rundown. See you on the other side!
17 Jun 2016
The BMW Group is celebrating its centenary. That’s pretty good going for any brand, but when you think how far cars have come in that time - and how much the brand has had to adapt and change - it’s all the more impressive. They aren't looking backwards though; it is all about the next 100 years.
To celebrate, MINI, part of the BMW Group and one of the most iconic car brands in the world, is looking to the next hundred years with its Future Shapers Project. Inspired by MINI’s visionary approach to and customisation today, three cultural pioneers who are shaping the future are exploring the future of personalisation within their individual fields of fashion, art, design and entertainment. MINI's own vision of the future will be unveiled as part of its exhibition at Camden Roundhouse beginning this week, 18-26th June. The exhibition will look at groundbreaking new technology that will affect how we live in 100 years.
Now, you guys know us, we’re big fans of both technology and design, so when MINI asked us to take a look at its Future Shapers project, we jumped to the task.
It's not just anything new and flashy that catches our attention though. Generally, design for us has to add something truly different, make us stop scrolling through Instagram and say 'wow'. That's why certain brands will often get a shoutout. The guys at Bellroy, for instance, are always innovating; looking for new ways to deliver a wallet that can hold more, while being made of less.
Nike is another brand who seem to be pushing the boundaries almost every week, bringing in new materials and processes that lighten, strengthen, and streamline running shoes.
Then there's Cubitts, a London-based eyewear brand that you might not think of when you think innovation, but one that's always looking to the future - believe us!
These guys burst on the scene with a simple, but effective offer. Fixed-price, mail order glasses, that are delivered to you in a bunch, with you selecting your perfect pair before sending the rest back. They then opened a shop. So far, so normal. Then they moved into bespoke frames using an incredibly detailed process that produced excellent results - as our friends at Umbrella found out.
Okay, now we're getting somewhere. Still though, I bet you're thinking it's not that innovative.
For their next phase, they are doing something really cool and very different. They're working to pioneer what they've called Cephalometrics. This is where you take sub-millimetre measurements of a person's head, in 3D, and design and produce a pair of glasses specifically bespoke for them.
This isn't bespoke as you currently know it - essentially, tweaks to an existing off-the-shelf frame - this is bespoke as it’s meant to be: completely unique.
By scanning someone’s head, down to a level way beyond what you’ll pick up with a ruler, this technology can learn every microscopic feature of a face and then produce glasses that fit that face perfectly. We’re talking about the way the glasses sit on the face, the size of the glasses, the thickness of the rims, and all the rest.
In this way, the technology can offer up glasses that are perfectly suited to the individual. No more traipsing from shop-to-shop, looking for styles that work and fit. Get scanned, chose the colours and style you like, sit back and wait while they craft you a bespoke set of eyewear.
And that's what really excites us. Something different, something unique, something that changes the game. Just like BMW and MINI, these brands aren’t sitting still; they’re thinking about the future, constantly innovating, and looking to deliver something of real worth, that makes a difference to the world.
The BMW Group Future Experience, showcasing MINI’s vision of the NEXT 100 years, takes place at the Roundhouse in London, from the 18th to the 26th of June. Visit MINInext100 for more information, or follow them at @MINIUK #NEXT100
10 Jun 2016
Bags are all packed! We're heading to America this weekend for three weeks. First stop Orlando, then Naples (just near Miami) and finishing with a week in Las Vegas! Regular blog posts will be a little more thin on the ground.
You can find us on Snapchat at mat_buckets for daily updates, and on Instagram @mat_buckets for the usual photo rundown. See you on the other side!
9 Jun 2016
We're trying something a little bit different for Father's Day this year. As we've never been ones to cover gift guides in a traditional way, and the word "haul" doesn't even fit into our vocab, I thought we'd dedicate our latest instalment of This Week's Kit to our old men.
Sunday, 19th June marks the day we celebrate the Father figures in our life, but I'll be the first one to point out that I didn't grow up with a father in my life. But this makes me all the more keen to give appreciation to the men I've looked up to in life.
Barbour Ashby Waxed-Cotton Jacket | Niko and...Notepad | Lamy Ballpoint Pen | Hugo Boss Cotton + Linen-Blend Shirt | Pocket Kazoo | Paul Smith Gauge Watch | Whistles Sunglasses | Denim Dudes Book | Umbrella Magazine Issue 14 | Emergency Sriracha Sauce | Anchor Steam
India Pale Ale
India Pale Ale
One day, hey, I maybe I'll be celebrating this day with a son or daughter! But until then, in collaboration with Selfridges, I've picked out some perfect Father's Day Essentials for those who enjoy similar things to what you'll find on Buckets & Spades. Interesting design, check. Beer, check. Denim, check. Office accessories, check. Graphic design, check!
As I type this, wearing shorts and t-shirt, the sun is shining down heavy on my desk, but one thing you can always rely on in the UK is changeable weather. After visiting their South Shields Factory back in April, and having plenty of experience with being caught in downpours over the years, I can't recommend a Barbour waxed-cotton jackets enough. The Ashby is Barbour's rework of their classic Bedale model; shorter in length and a slightly more tailored fit. It's an easy soak-protector!
When the warmer month's roll in I'm far more likely to stock up on a few refreshing Summer brews than darker stouts and heavy concoctions. My local supermarket has been upping its game on the beer-front since last year, with new breweries been stocked monthly, but sometimes I like to fall back on the tried-and-tested. Fact, I like my beer strong. Anchor Steam India Pale Ale fits the bill perfectly. IPA, a bag of crisps, emergency Sriracha Sauce, sunglasses and some reading material would make the perfect backyard accompaniment.
Another classic in many of our Summer wardrobes – or all year around in my case – is the chambray shirt. Along with indigo jeans, white tee and grey sweatshirt, the humble pale blue shirt falls into the "easy wears" category. This linen and cotton-blend shirt by Hugo Boss is perfect for the Summer, with its mix of lightweight, breathable materials.
Finally, as accessories go I'd say a good watch it going to take some beating. This Paul Smith time teller has some pretty fanciful details; with the speedometer-style dial being inspired by Paul's love of vintage motorcars, the red-tipped second hand and unstitched Italian leather strap make it an interesting mixture of early 20th century design and contemporary style.
What are your favourite products this month?
This post is in partnership with Selfridges. Thank you for taking the time to support the brands + businesses that make this blog happen.
7 Jun 2016
Wonderfully colourful + aesthetically pleasing visuals from the project Guide to Computing, by London-based photographer and digital artist, Docubyte. Love it!