Dezeen and MINI World Tour: in our penultimate movie recorded at the MINI Paceman Garage in Milan, New York designer Stephen Burks discusses the importance of having a design identity and journalist Henrietta Thompson explains why designers are starting to expand into retail.
"I really impressed upon the students that it was important to understand their own identity before choosing manufacturers to work with, before running off and making something," he says of his talk. "I think now they have a better sense of what that identity can be."
Henrietta Thompson, editor-at-large at Wallpaper magazine, believes that changes in manufacturing are enabling more and more designers to produce and sell their own products.
"There's certainly a shift happening in the way that designers are taking much more control over exhibiting their own work and also selling their own work," she says. "So you've actually got a new dynamic opening up and a lot of the galleries and the shows that you go to are actually retail environments as well."
"You have a lot more designer-makers, so they're making things in limited editions, which they're then able to sell," she adds.
"Because of all these new technologies coming in, which enable the way things are made to change dramatically, things can be made much cheaper. You've got 3D printing, which is completely changing the landscape as well. [A designer] can sell things online and actually distribute [their own work] fairly easily now."
It's not just designers that are moving into retail, Thompson suggests. "Magazines are getting into retail, exhibitions are getting into retail," she says.
"It doesn't necessarily have to be as cut-and-dry as 'I'm a producer', 'I'm a designer', 'I'm a retailer', 'I'm a magazine'. Now everybody is doing all of those things all together."
The music featured in this movie is a track called Konika by Italian disco DJ Daniele Baldelli, who played a set at the MINI Paceman Garage. You can listen to more music by Baldelli on Dezeen Music Project.