Bike to the Future
Bike to the Future is a joint effort of Design Museum Gent and the IMF Foundation, which offers a glimpse of the future of the bike. Both talent and inventiveness are the driving forces behind this exhibition, where brilliant ideas and ingenious prototypes are key. By combining form and technology in different ways, designers reinvent the bike time and again. The result is a photo finish of design, exquisite craftsmanship and industry.
The exhibition showcases contemporary models, such as the electric bike ‘M.A.S.S. SNOW’ by Philippe Starck, as well as prototypes and experiments with unusual materials and functions, like a folding bike design by Gianluca Sada that is as compact as an umbrella when folded. The importance of bike accessories cannot be underestimated either. For example, the magnetic bicycle light ‘iFlash One’, designed by the Danish studio Kibisi, the ‘Hammerhead’ navigation system and the ‘Hövding’ airbag helmets bring out the best in the aluminium steed. Belgium, too, is well-represented in the exhibition, with bicycles from Eddy Merckx and Jaegher, as well as Tobias Knockaert’s laser-cut bicycle on display. Accessories originate from Curana, among others, a global trendsetter when it comes to aluminium mudguards.
The bicycle is beginning to have a profound impact on the development of towns and cities, provoking new design typologies and urban infrastructures that range from novel forms of parking, bike-specific bridges and tunnels (macrodesign) to interventions like rain sensors for bicycles at traffic lights (microdesign). Now more than ever, urban planning is heading back to the future - back to when cities were life-sized places with rational and practical solutions for moving people around. Socially engaged designers and committed citizens are creating bottom-up initiatives to bring people together to discuss and generate solutions to reduce the barriers to cycling. Projects such as the ‘London Underline’ and bike bridge over the Ghent R4 illustrate the variety of mobility solutions. The Ghent ‘bike kitchen' and ‘Bicycle Gangs of NY’ give an idea of the big bike community.