velo: bicycle culture and design
original content
may 26, 2010
velo: bicycle culture and design

moving furniture by bicycle beside half-demolished buildings along wanping south road, shanghai
photo by robin chubb

editors: r. klanten, s. ehmann
240 pages, 21 x 26 cm


designboom rating:


cycling is an attitude.
it is good for the environment and for those who ride!

promoting biking as a primary form of transport, whether in the urban
or the rural countryside, ‘velo’ tells the story of the ever evolving bike
culture prevalent
in all parts of the globe.

it is a compilation of work by passionate cyclists who are making an impact –
from artists, photographers, activists, urban planners and professional riders…
the book includes concepts for biking fashion, folding wheels, custom frames
to original one-off bikes and art pieces, all which explore the aesthetics of today’s
contemporary cycling culture.

is it for me?
for recreational to hard-core bike enthusiasts alike. 
it is the fast lane into the possibilities of what the bicycle can do and be,
sparking new ideas for the future of this sustainable mode of transportation..

get your own creative juices flowing for designboom’s seoul cycle design competition!
consisting of three categories: cycle design, cycle infrastructure and cycle fashion
and accessory design, the competition is free to enter. 

the registration deadline is july 5, 2010.
learn more about the competition here.

here is just a look at a few of the projects mentioned:

transporting emptoy styrofoam containers from a wet market on tiayuan road and jianguo rd., shanghai
photo by robin chubb

toronto-based urban designer robin chubb, produced an ongoing series of photographs
that represent ‘reflections on the city, the landscape and the fields that manipulate them’
from his perspective in the chinese city of shanghai. chubb documented the incidental ways
in which the bicycle moves within the metropolis.

bamboo bike studio

new jersey-based bamboo bike studio teaches people how to build bike frames out of bamboo.
they have used their engineering, teaching and financial capital to establish bamboo bike factories
in developing countries.

wouter mijland
‘bakefits’, 2008

dutch artist wouter mijland works as a sustainable forestry specialist in central
and western africa. his artworks are generally assemblages of found objects.

‘bakefits’ is a practical hybrid-creature, a satyr-like vehicle with the head of a shopping cart
and the ‘legs’ of a bicycle.

wouter mijland
‘limousine’, 2008

‘limousine’ celebrates the richness of life seen from a moving bicycle.
here, mijland has made a stretch-limo version of a bicycle.

randal stevens workcycles / made in queens

randal stevens has made a documentary entitled ‘made in queens’ which documents the ambitious
pedal and decibel-pumped inventions and amped-up creativity of a group of trinidadian teenagers.

return of the crown prince ( a carriage for haile selassie), 2009
metal, oak and cherry wood, 23 karat gold leaf, vintage boom boxes and speakers, car audio, electronics, mirror, velvet,
rubber and swarovski crystals

puerto rican artist dzine (carlos rolon) transforms low-rider bikes into ‘high art’.
he does so by mixing pop culture references with baroque romanticism, psychedelic colors
and a touch of cultural appropriation.

from top left moving clockwise:
firetrick bob, 1977 / gaap street, 2003 / gaap tour , 2004 / aquatric bob, 1997

japanese designer hiroaki ‘ogyan’ akada, established his own bike studio called shukuno rintendo,
producing original bikes – ‘rin’ means bike, and ‘tendo’ means heaven in japanese.
the theme in which he works with is ‘fun riding and fun watching’.

matt coleman
‘the water cycle’, 2008
1 precipitation > 2 runoff from streams & rivers > 3 storage of freshwater > 4 ground water storage > 5 sunface runoff >
6 evapotranspiration > 7 ocean storage > 8 evaporation >  9 storage in atmosphere > restart at step 1

pennsylvania-based graphic artist matt coleman illustrated ‘the water cycle’ which depicts
one of nature’s most amazing processes in a literal manner.

front cover


designboom ratings:

……………………. interesting
………………. good read, worth a look
…………. very good
……. excellent, recommended
. must have


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