Dutch design on two wheelsJeroen Apers, Tuesday, 25 June 2013
Dutch towns would not be the same without the trendy mothers on ‘bakfietsen’. As the use of cars in towns and cities is discouraged, but parents still have to take kids to school, handy bicycle manufacturers are taking advantage. There are now many types, but the extended bike with a box on the front for kids and shopping is starting to become quite a design classic.
The urban bike of the moment is Van Moof. Anything that can break or fall off the bike is left out or worked into the frame. For example, the front and rear lights are built into the extension of the horizontal aluminium frame tubing. These LEDs are not powered by a dynamo but built-in solar panels on the frame. The heavy padlock – an essential in the big city – is also tidily built into the frame in the latest models. Ideal for the city dweller!
There are now also hotels capitalising on the typical Dutch image of the bicycle. One hotel in Amsterdam has a row of Bough Bikes against its facade. The frame of this stylish bike is made of wood. As the joints cannot be welded, this bike looks quite different from any bicycle you have ever seen. The bike itself lends the person using it a highly sustainable image.
The recently-graduated designer Tristan Kopp goes a step further with prodUSER, his final project at the Design Academy in Eindhoven. He has designed only the bike’s mechanical parts and couplings. You can add your own frame, which may consist of branches with leaves on if you wish. The sky is the limit. It wouldn’t surprise me if we see a whole range of weird new bikes in the years ahead. Wait and see!