Kickstarter is ripe with bicycle accessories and ideas, but the FlyKly is one of the coolest, most functional system I’ve seen. Via LaughingSquid:
The FlyKly Smart Wheel is a pedal assist system that is integrated into a bike wheel and can be fitted to most bicycles. The system reduces the effort required to propel the bicycle by providing electrical assist up to a top speed of 20 MPH and a maximum range of 30 miles. Everything, from the batteries to a GPS receiver is contained in a circular housing around the wheel hub. The system is controlled by a companion app that allows the rider to set an assist speed, monitor the battery level, and even track the wheel if it is stolen. The wheel is being designed and built by FlyKly in New York City.
Alarma is a design team that is launching a project referred to as “artfully conceived and meticulously designed dinnerware.” The dinnerware has alarmingly realistic spills and leftover smudges printed on it, giving a brief shock to your dinner guests, and probably jumpstarting your dinner conversation as well. The project is in funding stage at Crowd Supply, a new site similar to Kickstarter. We encourage you to take a look, there’s some really cool stuff there.
The “A Fine Mess” series is a 12-piece, fine-porcelain, modern and whimsical dinnerware set. Each set is comprised of 4 dinner plates, 4 side plates, and 4 bowls, and every piece will have its own unique artwork. The photorealistic art will be printed on the porcelain using the latest ceramic printing technology. All items will be dishwasher and microwave safe.
The Lumio is a portable light that folds up just like a book and when opened it becomes illuminated from within. The light is embedded with magnets so it can be mounted on a wide variety of surfaces and when fully charged it remains lit for 8 hours. The Lumio was designed by architect Max Gunawan who launched it as a Kickstarter project just three days ago where demand has been great the project is already 240% funded.
Well, it’s easy to say that Kickstarter had a fantastic 2012, garnering worldwide attention and bringing a record number of crowdsourced projects to life. As someone that created Kickstarter videos for threesuccessfulcampaigns last year, it’s fair to say that Kickstarter’s great year was good for me too!
They put together a great Best Of page, that takes you through some statistics, as well as some of the more important/groundbreaking/unique projects they featured in 2012. Take a look.
The last time Joshua Harker took to Kickstarter, the 3D-printing artist broke records—his “Crania Anatomica” became the most funded sculptural project in the history of the platform. His second project, “Anatomica di Revolutis” (roughly, “Anatomy of a Revolution”), is a three-piece hanging sculpture that expands on past themes. The centerpiece of this work is the “Crania Anatomica,” a miniature of which wesent to subscribers earlier this year as part of our involvement with Quarterly Co. The skull is a dazzling filigree that represents to Harker the end of an age and the beginning of what he calls the third industrial revolution.
Beneath the skull, a pair of wings hang in an homage to the phoenix. Made from 75 mechanical pieces, the wings are mobilized by pulling a dangling chain. At the bottom of the chain hangs a pyramid that shows an eye, a mouth and an ear on each side—a reference to the Japanese maxim “hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.” Each body part is mobilized by toggling a crossed heart that hangs below the pyramid.
The work of art is meant to symbolize the new state of information and manufacturing, one in which crowd funding, 3D printing and shared software combine to create a democratic, international economic model. Currently, you can pledge $550 to receive the full set (or less to receive individual pieces). And don’t worry about unfulfilled incentives—Harker had a perfect track record with his last set, delivering rewards to all 955 backers in an eight week period.
Hot on the heels of a story of a cardboard bike comes something a little more high tech, but similarly ingenious. Just two blocks from my office is a bicycle in a front window that won the 2011 Oregon Manifest award. The bicycle in question is called the Faraday, and it is a collaboration between IDEO and Rock Lobster Cycles. After winning the audience award at the prestigious bike design show, the designers went back to work fine-tuning this 21st century cycle. With an integrated lighting system, front rack and electric assist, this bike is a beautiful example of forward-thinking design and creativity. Available Spring of 2013 for $3,500.
From Faraday:The Faraday Porteur is the ultimate electric propelled utility bicycle – the first electric bicycle built by, and for, cyclists. Dubbed “the ultimate modern utility bicycle” by the Oregon Manifest bicycle design competition, the Faraday Porteur is an elegant, powerful electric bicycle – a high-quality city bike that is comfortable and effortless to ride – with or without the electric motor.
Beloved by progressive designers and earth-conscious consumers, bamboo grows free from pesticides and fertilizers in low water conditions. Add to that construction-grade strength and a naturally gorgeous grain, and bamboo emerges as a top pick for sustainability and good design. Recently, the material has been making waves in the tech world, used to build everything from smartphones to keyboards. Below you’ll find four creative new applications of the fibrous grass.
Determined to bring bamboo to smartphones, U.K. student Kieron-Scott Woodhouse designed a concept for a more sustainable Android device. His rendering was picked up by an entrepreneur, and they’re now hoping the ADzero Bamboo Phone will reach the market by the close of 2012. Besides the gorgeous look and grippy texture, the ADzero contains the first-ever rear-facing ring flash camera, a setup favored by portrait photographers for a diffused glow. Check in with ADzero’s Google+ page for updates on production.
The recently launched iZen Bamboo Keyboard is a wireless device composed of 92% bamboo. While Impecca has been creating bamboo keyboards for some time, iZen’s model has the distinction of being the first bluetooth-enabled wireless bamboo keyboard, which makes it compatible with devices and desktops alike.
The keyboard is built to the same dimensions as an Apple keyboard, with a texture that feels great for typing. iZen also makes bamboo tablet stands, useful when typing out tablet correspondences on the keyboard. Head over to the Kickstarter page to pledge to iZen’s next round of production, where $85 will secure an iZen keyboard.
While computer soft cases remain the standard, nothing beats the look and feel of an old-fashioned hard case. Lined with wool felt, Silva’s Macbook case is hand-sanded and finished with oil and polyurethane for a glass-like finish, with a thick leather handle practical for the lightweight case. Silva also makes two cases for iPad and are working on new models to accommodate the MacBook Air and 17″ MacBook Pro.
Fit for the new iPad, this case from Grove is molded to accommodate the tablet’s subtle curves. A range of covers are equipped with magnets to both wake and put the tablet to sleep, and the fabric lies flat against the back of the case when open. Wrapping slightly around the back, the covers lend an an ergonomic element for carrying as well. Overall, the case stands out for crisp, clean lines, especially when paired with the texture of Grove’s recently debuted wool cover.
Bikes are amazing. Quiet, lightweight and fast, they are the real future of sustainable transportation. But for those of us who have our bikes crowding our small apartments, stacked alongside a wall, waiting for people to trip over them, they can sometimes get in the way. Luckily, a number of designers have tackled this problem.
Knife and Saw
All the blogs are agog right now over Chris Brigham’s Bike Shelf that we showed on TreeHugger a while back. It is one of a number of designs that we have seen recently that kill a couple of birds with one stone: They give you an elegant way to store your bike inside in small spaces;
They display your pride and joy artfully;
They often have additional storage for your helmet or your keys;
They just look lovely.
Perhaps the granddaddy of all the simple, elegant designs is the Cycloc, designed by Andrew Lang and a hit since 2006 when Warren showed it on TreeHugger. The UK Design Council gushed: “The Cycloc is a minimalistic triumph of form, function and social awareness”. It is so minimal that Lang was worried; according to the Guardian:
Despite citing his creative vision as one that celebrates design simplicity; “paring products back to their fundamental elements,” he wasn’t initially convinced the idea had legs. “At first, I thought that’s too simple, so I explored a few options before coming back to it as the most elegant.”
Being mass-produced out of plastic, is it relatively cheap at £59.95 at the online store and is available in America as well.
British Designer Tamasine Osher has integrated a lot of storage into her PedalPod; there is room for everything. She takes her design seriously:
The intention is to rekindle the human relationship with objects, encouraging an interaction of the visual with the tactile, expressing the simplicity of materials and honest construction – perhaps to stimulate curiosity and awaken emotions using contrasting forms and elements.
The Bike Valet
The Bike Valet is a new design from “Steven Tiller, Stephanie Birch and baby Bennett” of Reclamation Art + Furniture. It recently made a splash at Kickstarter, where the designers describe the problem:
We live in a small downtown apartment, and if we happen to be dense enough to leave our bikes outside they wouldn’t last more than a few days, even with the priciest lock around. We lost a beautiful, vintage, hand-made Kleine in just such a way a couple years ago. So we bring our bikes inside. Given our storage issues, this makes navigating the entry hall difficult. I personally have tripped over or snagged a pair of dress pants on an awkwardly placed bicycle more than once. The solution? The Bike Valet.
The design works on the same simple principle of leverage as the Cycloc, but the metal is, I think, a little more elegant. Available on Etsy for $75.
Pallet Bike Rack
Chris Meierling recycled old shipping pallets into a lovely home office and bike storage system that I showed on TreeHugger here. The pallets provide an interesting background for the bikes (as does the red paint) and can also support other types of storage. He writes (without explaining exactly how the bikes are hung):
The pallets shelves were rough and dirty. I picked 4 pallets up off a nearby street, made the shelves, and screwed them directly into my drywall with drywall anchors. Each pallet had about 10 screws across the pallet to distribute the weight; each anchor had a 40 lb hanging capacity.
Bike Rack Birdhouse
I must confess that I am a soft touch for humour in design; that is why my personal favourite is the Bike Rack Birdhouse from Lauren Thomas and Jennifer Karam of Dimini , seen on TreeHugger here. The designers write:
The bikerack birdhouse mounts on the wall easily and securely offering a innovative indoor storage solution for your bike and helmut. Made of Mahogany plywood and finished by hand with all natural non-toxic beeswax and linseed oil, this piece will lighten the storage load and brighten your home.