Turn the Beat Around

Although disco has had an ignominious departure from the mainstream in the U.S., in other parts of the world, where people still like to dance and like to drive really small cars, disco (although the music is more like EDM than the Bee Gees) still exits.

At the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, Germany, an exhibition sponsored by smart, the small car brand of Mercedes, is currently running: “Night Fever. Designing Club Culture 1960—Today.”

It is curated by designer Konstantin Grcic. Grcic was given the opportunity to transform a smart EQ fortwo into what’s described as the “smart mobile disco.”

The small car has been retrofitted so that there is a lifting platform that accommodates a DJ booth and the requisite equipment. In order to accommodate this it was necessary to basically gut the interior in order to provide space for lifting equipment.

In addition to which, there is a fog machine located behind the radiator grille (think about the irony of this: many cars have fog lights in that vicinity so as to be able to see through the fog; this car produces it). There are LED headlamps and a stroboscope to provide the necessary dance-floor lighting. The wheels and the underbody are backlighted to add a bit more color to the undertaking.

As the head of smart brand, Dr. Annette Winkler, explained, “The smart mobile disco is a great symbol of the smart brand’s links with club culture—a scene that draws people together, forges bonds and brings joy. The many different facets of club culture all embrace a departure from given norms, a different way of looking at things and the courage to try out something new. This is what links the club culture with smart. Visionary thinking and a passion to keep questioning the status quo encapsulate smart’s aims and its essential attitude.”

Talk like that makes me want to (1) dance and (2) buy a smart.

Unfortunately, or not, the smart mobile disco is a one-off, so you won’t find that trim package at your local smart dealer.

Video: Making of: smart mobile disco by Konstantin Grcic

Making of: smart mobile disco by Konstantin Grcic

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