Design 21: Social Design Network announced the top three winners of the Power to the Pedal online design competition this week from 222 entries worldwide. The online social design network, which promotes better design for the greater good through its members and non-profit partners, challenged designers to create a new bicycle accessory or add-on for existing bicycles that would improve the cycling experience and promote the use of bicycles as a primary means of transportation. The competition was open for 12 weeks and attracted entries from 41 countries and over 200 designers. Designs were judged by a panel of DESIGN 21 judges based on overall effectiveness, creativity, practicality, aesthetics and how well it responds to environmental concerns. Members of DESIGN 21 were also invited to vote online for their favorite design for the Most Popular award.
The first prize was awarded to Ben Decherd from Portland, Oregon for his Pedal Power Pack design. The Pedal Power Pack is a small power supply unit that recharges by attaching a bicycle and using the energy from the moving bicycle and pedals. The design utilized aspects from a stationary bike design and a portable power supply device and offers consumers a way to power small everyday electronic devices during a power outage. The Power Pedal Pack can be designed in a rugged and industrial look for disaster relief efforts or in a more sleek and modern look for general consumers. Emiliano Godoy, one of the judges of the Power to the Pedal competition said, "The potential that the Pedal Power Pack has in relation to governmental and aid organizations during emergency relief are tremendous, while the possible everyday uses for off the grid or less energy intensive lifestyles are also very attractive." Dechard is currently a student at Savannah College of Art & Design and has been awarded $5,000 for his design.
Retrofit Folding Handlebars by Joe Wentworth from London was awarded the second place prize and addresses two major problems for cyclists: storage and security. The entry was described as "an elegant and intelligent solution to a common problem," by judge Wendy Brawer. The Retrofit Folding Handlebars fold into each side of the bicycle, drastically changing the width size of the bicycle. In addition, the handlebars in their folded position create a steering lock preventing the front wheel from turning, allowing additional security. The handlebars are extremely simple to use and remove two major hurdles in recruiting more cyclists. Wentworth received a mechanical engineering degree from Bath University in the U.K. and recently graduated from Ron Arad's Design Products course at the Royal College of Art in London. He is currently freelancing in London for a variety of companies including DAKA research.
The third place entry and most popular, as voted by DESIGN 21 members, was The Sound from Wind by Joseph Kim and Jinwook Hwang from Seoul, South Korea. The Sound from Wind design creates a melody by wind passing through a ceramic-type instrument secured to the handlebars. The design uses design elements from the flute and ocarina to make a soothing analog sound. The sound can also be manipulated to create a melody through a variety of buttons on the sound machine. "Sound From Wind mixes future aspiration with nostalgia well," said judge Jens Martin Skibsted. "This could be one of those weird fads that propels bike culture without any other by-product other than air and eventually some ceramic."
DESIGN 21creates a variety of design competitions to challenge their members to help solve social and global problems by designing for the greater good.