“It’s a fact that cars are becoming more and more like our second homes, where we want to feel comfortable and spend quality time,” says Benedetta Terraneo, designer and marketing director at Miko, manufacturer of the Dinamica® range of eco-suede microfibres.
“More and more we see concept cars in which people can interact and relax, as if they were sitting in a living room – like the Mercedes-Benz Tokyo Concept, 2015 – or we see interiors fully covered with beautiful tapestries, like the Rolls-Royce Serenity at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show.”
Home comforts and security are key themes of the latest Dinamica® collection called ‘Living Emotion’, to be launched to clients this summer in a global tour. “Living Emotion doesn’t only take inspiration from the design world, but also from the people who live in a home’s spaces, finding here their sanctuary, the perfect place to be theirselves and express their feelings,” says Terraneo.
Milan Design Week is a particular influence, she says: “The real inspiration comes from the various exhibitions in the Ventura Lambrate district at the Fuori Salone. In the last seven years, this district has become the voice of talented international designers, sometimes not famous at all, who have the guts to show their work to a critical audience of experts.
“Lambrate has accustomed us to look at everyday objects from a different perspective: this is what we want to show in our collection, everyday design but with a new twist. That can simply be an accent colour, or a new technology, or a new perspective.
“In Milan I saw Toyota’s Setsuna concept car. The idea behind this is that the car is witness to a family’s experiences through time. Its appearance develops and matures, reflecting the family’s history. The story defines the objects. Each year we try to tell a different story with our collections. Dinamica® is a very playful material.”
Samples in the Living Emotion collection show the technologies that can be applied to Dinamica® microfibre for a high degree of customisation, from the already familiar electro-welding, embossing, laser decoration and perforations with contrast colour, to less traditional techniques such as pleated and metallic applications, thermo-printing and silicon inserts.
However, there is one common theme throughout: “The story, the style, the groove, is 100% Italian!” Terraneo says. “Many suppliers who helped us develop the patterns and technologies are also Italian, and Dinamica® is made in Italy.”
Naturally, sustainability is central to the Dinamica® story too: the eco-suede is made from recycled polyester such as old bottles, T-shirts and other waste materials, and it is coloured with non-toxic dyes, in a water-based, solvent-free process. And at the end of a vehicle’s life, it is 100 percent recyclable again.
“Since 1997 Miko has been producing Dinamica® with an environmental consciousness,” says Terraneo. “Our sustainable ethics are deep in our roots and part of who we are. Electric cars and new cars in general have new ethics to consider, and OEMs are attentive in the selection of their suppliers. When you embrace a goal, you have to look around and find who is driving in your same direction.”
Since its acquisition by Sage Automotive Industries in April 2015, Miko now has access to a worldwide network of production plants, including facilities in Brazil and China as well as in Europe.
“Now that Dinamica® is part of a larger family, the potential is bigger for us,” explains Terraneo. The Living Emotion collection is launched in Europe at the end of June, will be shown to US customers in September, and will then be taken to Asia.