Design Chat: August 8, 2013
Every month or so, the firm at which I work hosts a lunchtime event with our architect firm friends down the street. We call it Design Chat, and it brings together nearly a dozen design-minded individuals with a passion for aesthetics, sustainability and progress.
As we haven’t really done one of these in a while, we revisited an old theme: Good Design.
Items presented have included everything from graphic design to architecture and product design to industrial design. I chose the bicycle, and the following is what I presented, in blog form with minimal words.
Convert ENERGY into MOBILITY
“The bicycle is a tremendously efficient means of transportation.
It is more efficient than any other method of travel–including walking!
A bicycle can be up to 5 times more efficient than walking.”
(Source: The Physics of Cycling.)
Skagit County has some of the most beautiful roads I have ever traveled by bike. Design Chat has also given attendees a chance to share art, photographs, and personal experiences related to design or not.
The Project: 1972 (or 1974) Schwinn Varsity
Next, I talked about my current project, an early 1970s Schwinn Varsity, which I have disassembled and am now stripping of paint. It will be rebuilt as an elegant, flat black cycle with white-wall tires and plenty of shiny chrome. The plan is to fit it with a Brooks saddle, and I’m still debating whether to make it a freewheel single speed or multi-speed.
Growing the Revolution: Mission Bicycle
I follow a small handful of bicycle makers. There is Fast Boy Cycles in NYC and — my favorite — Mission Bicycle in San Francisco.
What They Do
• Make lightweight hand-made cycles.
• Custom built to order, one at a time.
• Built for city riding.
One reason I am such a fan of Mission Bicycle is due to their Instagram account. They take fabulous photographs of their products, of which I noted above are all custom made to order.
PRAISE the LIGHT
A Different Revolution: Revolights
Revolights are a revolutionary new bicycle light that mounts to the front and rear wheels. Not only does it light your path forward and back, it provides adequate adjacent lighting to give you greater visibility to other riders and drivers at night.
I am fascinated with this product and would love to install it on one of my future cycles.
Revolights™. Now landed. from revolights on Vimeo.