Decoding Design

Philippe Starck designs a chic, user-friendly 'bike of the future'

Posting in Cities

Enduringly hip designer Philippe Starck collaborates with the city of Bordeaux, France and Peugeot to create a concept for a safe, and intuitive vehicle for urban bike-sharing. Oh, and it's lovely, too.

Perennially hip product designer Philippe Starck recently unveiled his final rendering of what he's calling the "bicycle of the future" in Bordeaux, France. The hybrid bike-scooter is designed not only with Starck's signature sleek lines, but also with the ergonomic requirements for city dwellers, specifically, in mind. Peugeot will produce the bikes, which will be provided to citizens of Bordeaux as part of an existing bike-sharing program. They will replace the bikes currently in use.

Bordeaux seems an ideal place to launch Starck's design, as the city saw its number of bike riders triple in fifteen years. Bordeaux's citizens make 10% of their daily trips via bicycle, according to a press release issued by Starck. The Mayor of Bordeaux's office worked with Starck to develop the design, which was informed by the ideas and opinions of everyday Bordeaux citizens. They were invited to offer their concepts of the "ideal city bike" from November 20, 2011 through January 20, 2012, as part of the city's Cyclab program.

Yes, the bike is as visually pleasing as many of Starck's chic and simple furniture, electronics, and houseware designs. But Starck also provides some fresh, user-friendly features such as a foot platform near the pedals, intended to make push-starting the motor, when needed, comfortable and intuitive. There's a roomy, built-in front basket--a handy addition for toting groceries, purses, or laptops around town. And the bright yellow wheels, if they make it onto the final product, will likely urge drivers and pedestrians to notice the cyclists riding the bikes. Ultimately, the lovely aesthetics of this vehicle also serve as its innovations and safety features. It's an eye-catching example of the simple, and elegant, power of design.

(Via PSFK, designboom, and Starck.com)

Image: Starck, used with permission

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Reena Jana

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Reena Jana has written for the New York Times, Wired, Harvard Business Review online, Fast Company, Architectural Record, Artforum, Time Out New York, Harper's Bazaar, and GQ. Previously, she was the innovation department editor at BusinessWeek. She holds degrees from Columbia University and Barnard College. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure