A Many-Spoked Opportunity
Biking to work has been shown in so many ways to be a great thing. For health, the environment, and general community building, it's tough to beat it. Asia has always been touted as the bicycling leader of the world, but recently, the western world has finally begun to get their act together and follow suit. In 2001, Statistics Canada reported that nearly five per cent of its workforce of Victoria BC commutes to their offices by bicycle, and the rest of Canada was catching up. Canada is leading North America in bike commuters. The US is lagging sadly behind the pack in the same test. Take a look at these statistics. It's interesting to see how much of the rest of the world is still escalating bike production, or holding it steady, while the United States hit it's peak production in the 50's.
There is no shortage of work being done to turn the situation around. Critical mass recently turned heads at the Republican Convention in New York, but the standard CM rides are meant to build awareness about bicycle commuting in the US. Bike to work is another web-based initiative working to bring some good-old fashioned biking to the American landscape.
What's a product designer to do about all this? You could always go the way of Ross Lovegrove and Marc Newson and come out with your own couture bike. Make something exotic that consumers will want just as much as a new Mini Cooper or Ipod, and then let them make the connection to work when they ask themselves how they can show off their new toy. Another angle to take is to solve the perennial problem of bike size and storage. Recent bikes have folded, broken in half, and even become totally minified. Your idea could be the next big push for bike owners everywhere.
Copyright 2004-2006 Dominic Muren and IDFuel Team