architects design creative road graphics for pedestrians, motorcycles and bikes in shanghai

architects design creative road graphics for pedestrians, motorcycles and bikes in shanghai

the chain effect is a public space intervention within the framework of shanghai’s urban design festival hosted in 2017, and powered by MINI china through its urban matters platform, which curates and creates design solutions that tackle urban challenges confronting china’s creative class. the ‘modern urban issue’ tackled by the collaborative duet anomaly + 100architects was to improve the pedestrian circulation in old neighborhoods of the city, where sidewalks are narrow and usually massively occupied by bicycles and scooters parked on them, and where zebra crossings are congested with people.

architects design shanghai road graphics for pedestrians, motorcycles and bikes designboom
concept idea 1



the first issue tackled was the bicycle parking congestion due to the proliferation of bicycles from the booming bike-sharing companies, which has created a new problem in the narrow sidewalks of the city, hindering the circulation of pedestrians. the proposal was not only intended to organize and improve the way these bikes are parked on the streets, but also raise awareness and educate the users on civic behavior regarding the public use of these shared bikes. inspired by the chain of a bicycle, the architects came up with a simple yet creative graphic that would indicate for the users the positions to park the bikes and also suggest in which angle they should be parked, optimizing the accommodation of more bikes in certain areas and freeing up to 0,5 meters of sidewalk for a more comfortable pedestrian circulation.

bicycle parking graphic along yuyuan road, shanghai



the second issue solved was the motorbike parking congestion due to a rising proliferation of food and online shopping delivery companies. for this,  another simple graphic was designed, inspired by the commonly yet unbelievably packed delivery motorbike drivers usually spotted in the streets of shanghai. the stacked boxes have become the parking slots for the delivery drivers to park their motorbikes in a specific location and in an organized manner.



the third and last issue was the overcrowded zebra crossings in narrow streets, which in peak rush hours are very difficult to cross without bumping into other people crossing in the opposite direction. to help organize the pedestrian circulation over those zebra crossings, the team came up with a very simple yet extremely effective modification of the crossing’s white lines themselves, from straight to zig-zag lines, which created a pointing arrow shape, giving pedestrians a directional hint, splitting the circulation in two directions in order to avoid bumping into other people. these simple yet smart designs were awarded red dot design award 2018 in the category of environmental graphics.

shared bicycles parked correctly


architects design shanghai road graphics for pedestrians, motorcycles and bikes designboom
bicycle parking graphic detail


concept idea 2


delivery motorbike parking graphic


delivery motorbikes parked onto the slots


concept idea 3a


architects design shanghai road graphics for pedestrians, motorcycles and bikes designboom
concept idea 3b


directional crossing detail


directional pedestrian crossing, splitting circulation in two lanes, to avoid bumping into each other


project info:


name: the chain effect

design: anomaly + 100architects

design team: ellie see (anomaly shanghai) + marcial jesus & javier gonzalez (100architects)

creative direction: elvis chau (anomaly shanghai)

account management: nickel lui (anomaly shanghai)

production: hong yang advertising + 100architects

client: MINI china

location: yuyuan road, changning district, shanghai, china

completion: november 2017


designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: maria erman | designboom

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
    all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    latest news

    keep up with our daily and weekly stories
    502,379 subscribers
    - see sample
    - see sample