’Bike to the Future’: Design Museum Gent considers a world of two-wheeled design
’Bike to the Future’ is the latest testament to a cycling revolution we’ve been witnessing since the 1960s. But the Design Museum Gent isn’t interested in the past; between 25 March – 23 October it showcases a collection of contemporary models from the new millennium, including Philippe Starck’s electric bike ’MASS’ or Tobias Knockaert’s laser-cut bicycle, and prototypes and experiments for the future, with unusual aesthetics, materials and functions.
Wood is popularly employed across exhibition; designer Ross Lovegrove went as far as using bamboo to build a bike frame (it’s a surprisingly ideal material, being both flexible and robust). Experimenters went mad with storage space, considerably expanding the awkwardly sized basket we’re currently used to, and placing it on ground level – like an amalgam of wheel barrow and a bike – or even in the middle, between the seat and the steering wheel. To further adapt the bicycle to today’s hectic life and long commuting distances, Gianluca Sada created a folding bike the size of an umbrella. A few additional accessories join the bikes at the exhibition, such as the magnetic bicycle light ‘iFlash One’, designed by the Danish studio KiBiSi.
It seems like spring is the season for bike events, with Bristol’s Bespoke handmade festival taking place from April 15–17, and the Urban Bike Festival in Zurich recently animating the Swiss city between April 1–3. In a society obsessed with health and increasingly aware of environmentalism, this velo-mania testifies to how two wheels have increasingly become an essential part of our urban visual identity.