From left to right: Paul Sadoff, Adam Reineck, Gina Romero, Anthony Piazza, Adam Vollmer, and Chris Cowart.
Calling the greater Bay Area home, IDEO Design, Palo Alto and Rock Lobster are teaming up to tackle the Oregon Manifest design challenge. The hilly city they call home has its own unique set of design challenges to overcome - from bike parking to separate bike and car lanes - this dream team is ready to face design and planning challenges head-on. IDEO's team of thinkers and designers are true cyclists, all of whom bike on a daily basis, some even making the 30+ mile ride to Palo Alto regularly! With over 30 years of frame-building experience, Rock Lobster is a one-man band who's custom steel and aluminum constructions are hand-built with a true dedication to the craft. The team will draw design inspiration from bike history, both personal and historical, to create a performance machine. Besides the obvious health benefits of biking for both people and the planet, the team sees biking as a lifetime pursuit. As they point out, "You loved it when you were a kid -- why stop?"
C77: How many of you commute by bike?
IDEO x Rock Lobster: All of us do! Barring errands to run or bike frames to ship and transport, even those of us who live in San Francisco bike to the train daily and even make the 30+ mile ride to Palo Alto on a pretty regular basis. Even with the business of shipping and transporting bike frames, Paul (Rock Lobster) hopes to build a bike trailer this Spring to give his truck a rest.
Bike culture is...
Bike culture is always reinventing itself and hard to even sum up as a single culture. There are innumerable microcosms of riders ranging from speed-addicts to cruisers, from expressive to functional. No matter how old you are, we think bike culture involves having your bike in your thoughts at least one time a day - whether your purpose is fitness, thrill, getting to work or getting to the grocery store, what unites all of us is a love of riding.
In what ways could your city be more accommodating to bicyclists?
Living in San Francisco, a good start would be flattening the hills! But seriously...we'd love to see more education dealing with safety and sharing the road with cars. Separated bike lanes will be necessary to get more people out on bikes, as well as rethinking parts of the infrastructure, such as better coordinated traffic lights, new laws encouraging cycling, and more secure downtown bike parking. Bike programs in the public schools are getting a foothold but there needs to be more. The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is doing a great job advocating to improve the lives of cyclists.
Because it's fun! Biking is great exercise and to energy geeks, it's the most efficient form of transportation we have. It helps integrate you into a diverse community of riders. Biking gives us a sense of freedom and confidence that is really healthy, especially for people living busy working lives. We see it as a lifetime pursuit. You loved it when you were a kid -- why stop?
Any starting inspiration you'd like to share?
As lifelong bike lovers, there's a certain nostalgia for loved bikes from our past. A particular old British cruiser, the "most comfortable bike I ever rode," was left behind in Boston for the rolling hills of San Francisco. We'll draw a lot from bike history, ranging from Rene Herse's Constructeur innovations in the '50s and '60s to classic Dutch city bikes. This wonderful legacy combined with our modern abilities, technology, and sensibility will make designing a bike that's as vital and useful as possible.
What is your collective goal with this project?
We're looking forward to coming together on a subject we love and we hope to have a lot of fun. We're excited to work with an amazing frame builder like Paul to design and build a bike that's unique, clean, and integral to its rider's lifestyle. We'll draw from IDEO's community, our deep love of cycling, and our global design and engineering resources to complement Paul's craft in a really exceptional way.
What separates your team's design philosophy and approach to this challenge from the other teams?
We're still working on our design philosophy. Stay tuned!
Any words for the other design teams?
Good luck! Let's inspire each other.