COGOO makes unnoticed, abandoned bicycles visible with ‘saddle blossoms’




each year, tokyo sees approximately 2 million bicycles abandoned in its bustling streets, many of which for the most part go unnoticed. COGOO, an organization which aims to make our urban environments cleaner places, decided to do something about the problem, so that the city’s inhabitants would take notice. together with TBWA \ hakuhodo, they came up with ‘saddle blossoms’, a campaign which is ‘a beautiful solution to an ugly problem’.


the story of ‘saddle blossoms’
video courtesy of TBWA asia pacific





the project sees the seats of neglected bikes being reappropriated as planters, bringing attention to the forgotten two-wheelers through flora; arranging them in bicycle parking lots to create an artistic intervention which drew the attention of passersby. each saddle was outfitted with a name plate that stated the species of vegetation sprouting out of its surface. the resulting work was further promoted through posters and online. the initiative had a significant impact, reducing the number of discarded bicycles on the streets of tokyo by 40% and went on to hit the news, which caught the attention of the local government who subsequently stepped in to help assist in eradicating the problem. the social and environmental impact that ‘saddle blossoms’ had on tokyo, saw it receive a silver lion at the 2014 cannes lions festival of creativity in the PR (events & experiential, including stunts) category.

saddle blossoms designboom
‘flowers of negligence’


saddle blossoms designboom
‘into oblivion’ – chocolate lily


saddle blossoms designboom
‘endangered umbrella’ – shredded umbrella plant



saddle blossoms designboom


BICYCLOCK – concept movie of ‘saddle blossoms’
video courtesy of cogoo channel