Customized bicycle-"think different" -WHU undergraduates win world’s top design award
Four students from the School of Urban Design of Wuhan University received the 2017 IF DESIGN TALENT AWARD for their innovative design named Buy Bye Bicycle Station under the theme “Bike-Centered City 2030-Shifting the Traffic Ecosystem”. The winning entry will be featured in the IF WORLD DESIGN GUIDE, the IF design app, and will also be displayed at the IF design exhibition in Hamburg.
A creative and multifunctional product design
Cycling might be one answer to cities troubled by congestion, pollution and many other problems, but how can our cities become more 'bike-friendly'? Here comes a solution--Buy Bye Bicycle Station. The basic frame of the bicycle may look the same; however, it can be dismantled and assembled in accordance to the personal needs of users. In addition, what makes it distinctive is that it involves a city’s entire public transportation system, such as bus stations, metro stations and even theme parks. In light of the various needs of users, such as different outlooks and functions, bike tires, saddles, lights, storage baskets and other accessories can be automatically assembled in the simplest manner. What you need to do is just enter the bike station, navigate the simple interface and pick your favorite model or accessories for assembly—as easy a process as ordering a meal. Of course, you can also select your ideal bike models or accessories via your smartphone. It will bring you convenience as well as comfort.
Conceptual model of the Buy Bye Bicycle Station
Stories behind the scene
Shu Chendong, Zheng Yijing, Chu Xueman and Tang Zhenyi, designers of Buy Bye Bike Station, are all undergraduates from the School of Urban Design at Wuhan University. When talking about the award, they all smiled with great confidence and expressed their gratitude for their instructor’s help. “Such an award belongs to not only our team, but, in a broader sense, to our instructor. If not for his assistance, we wouldn’t have come this far”, said Zheng. “Throughout the process, well-organized plans and cooperation among team members really matter”, added Tang.
The designers of Buy Bye Bicycle Station (from the left: Shu Chengdong, Tang Zhenyi, Zheng Yijing, Chu Xueman)
When it comes to the origin of their ideas, they believe that they combined their life experiences with theories. In preparation for their graduation projects, they worked out a plan to design a project that targets future bikes, which they suggest may transform the entire public transportation network in the future. Different from current bike sharing programs in the market, their product connects bicycles with the mass transit system, a feature they think may set the trend for the future bike industry.
What makes our product different?
They also shared their thoughts on how to monetize riding the “Bike”, which is dissimilar to present-day bike-sharing systems. “Unlike most bike-sharing schemes which require users to scan the QR-code attached to the bike in order to track time for fees, our bike-sharing system demands users’ fingerprints to unlock bikes and most importantly, users must lock their bikes through their fingerprints after finishing their trips. By doing this, we can prevent a handful of bikers from evading fees”, explained Shu. “Because most bike-sharing services, Mobike (a bike-sharing startup in China) for instance, allow users to hop on for a ride after they input a four-digit password via their smartphone to unlock an old-fashioned mechanical lock. But these locks have permanent passwords so users can simply memorize the password of a particular bike and may reuse the bike next time free of charge. That may put such bike-sharing services at great risk ”, added Tang.
However, speaking of the way it operates, they agree that there does exist obstacles, such as the incompleteness of the mass transit systems in some cities as well as unsound policies. Nonetheless, they placed high hopes on their design product. “Our product is aimed at cities in 2030 when the public transportation networks will be sufficiently complete and government policies and measures become favorable for the operation of our product”, said Tang.
In recent years, numerous prizes have been awarded to students of Wuhan University, which truly represents both students’ innovative ideas and teachers’ enlightening guidance. Students and teachers are highly motivated to conduct researches and experiments and show great zeal for attaining breakthroughs in certain disciplines on account of copious amounts of encouragement and a great many of incentives from the various departments of Wuhan University. In 2014, WHU’s designed public elective courses platform was put into use, drawing widespread commendations among universities and colleges in Wuhan city. In 2015, undergraduate student Liu Boya (2011) from the Department of Design won the National Great Master's Outstanding Award. During the same year, three students of the School received prizes from the Architecture Committee Competition. Also in August of that year, students from the School of Water Resources and Hydropower Engineering clinched the top prizes for their three entries in a national competition of Hydropower Innovative Design held in Chongqing.
The IF Product Design Award was introduced in 1954 and is annually conferred by the IF International Forum Design. Each year, IF International Forum Design GmbH organizes one of the world's most celebrated and valued design competitions: the IF DESIGN AWARD. Recognized as a symbol of design excellence around the world, the IF DESIGN AWARD welcomes over 5,000 submissions from 70 countries every year. To this day, IF International Forum Design publishes annual yearbooks showcasing the winners of their design awards.
Photo by Tang Lingjie
Edited by Liu Li and Edmund Wai Man Lai and Hu Sijia