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A chair inspired by bicycles

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Some of you might be wondering why I am posting a chair here on Bicycle Design. Well, if you have been reading the blog for a while, you have probably heard me say many times that I think variety is very important for all types of designers. If you work in the same industry on the same type of product all the time (even great products like bicycles), it is easy to get stuck in a rut. Taking on a project that is out of one’s comfort zone by occasionally stepping into a totally different industry or market can provide a designer with a valuable fresh perspective. That translates to better work when the designer gets back to the products that he or she creates on a daily basis.

I firmly believe that designers who look only at the work of their competitors and never look outside of their particular industry end up creating stale “me too” designs. That is why I want to pass along this carbon fiber and aluminum chair from Laisr, which happens to be a side project of Cannondale Design Director Torgny Fjeldskaar. Torgny points out that the chairs were “inspired by materials and production processes from the bicycle industry.” I like to see that kind of design cross pollination, so I was glad to see these new furniture designs from a successful bike designer. It sounds like Torgny and his partner, Javier Alberich, got a great response when they unveiled their designs at Salone del Mobile in Milan earlier this month. I am not surprised; the chairs look great. Check out the other Laisr products and read more on the company’s website.

While I am posting, I want to pass on a few more links. I would be remiss if I did not mention the International Bicycle Design Competition, which starts accepting entries tomorrow, May 1st. You can read more about the competition here and here.

Road Magazine recently had a short interview with Steve Hed about issues related to aerodynamics. The article also has a picture of a HED Stinger wheel with a prototype disc shaped center section that replaces the traditional hub. It is pretty interesting; take a look.

Finally, some of you might remember my review of the Strida 5.0. I enjoyed riding the bike, but I felt like, at 6’ 2” tall, I was at or near the maximum height to ride the bike comfortably. After I returned my test Strida though, I found out that the designer, Mark Sanders, is actually taller than me at 6’ 3” and that I should have moved the entire seat assembly above the top pin in the frame (something the directions do not tell you). Oh well, live and learn. For anyone who had the opposite problem with the original Strida, they have just released a smaller version of the bike with 14” wheels. The new Strida Bantam is designed for kids and smaller adults (under 5 feet).

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  1. Anonymous April 30, 2008 at 2:37 pm -  Reply

    Another example of bicycle inspired chair design are the tubular steel designs from the 1920s by architect and designer Marcel Breuer, who was inspired in part by bicycle handlebars.

  2. Ron April 30, 2008 at 3:15 pm -  Reply

    I like your first para. This is one of the reasons I don’t work in the bicycle industry. I think oversaturation can lead to staleness of work.

    Thanks for the links. I wonder what Steve has to say abouut Hincapie’s Stinger breaking at P-R.

  3. Anonymous April 30, 2008 at 6:58 pm -  Reply

    It is a shame he did not use some Cannodale elements in the chair. I’d love to see a Lefty inspired design.

  4. bikesgonewild May 3, 2008 at 1:08 pm -  Reply

    …fully agree w/ you on the thought, that if you don’t look outside the box, you probably won’t think outside the box &…(reciprocal statement)…

    …& while i like the simple elegance of the chair design, w/ the cost of molds & the availability of carbon fiber these days, they gotta be playing to a pretty high end market…nice work though…

  5. Martin June 11, 2008 at 9:33 am -  Reply

    Good Job! 🙂

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