The push to leave the car at home in favor of commuting by bicycle now weighs on urban communities more than ever, and with a shortage of urban-minded bicycle design on the market the choice isn't an easy one to make. To help find a solution, the Oregon Manifest Constructor's Design Challenge has brought together some of the most talented designers and custom bike builders in the country tasked with creating the ideal modern utility bike. The concept and design process started in February 2011 and has just recently come to a conclusion on 24 September.
Outside of the actual competition were three Creative Collaborations by globally renowned design firms working with some top American craftsman. A highlight of the collaborations was California-based Fuseproject and Sycip. The Yves Behar lead firm designed the three wheeled Local while Sycip's custom build team brought it to life. Designed to be "the perfect neighborhood bike," it addresses the needs of daily life from visiting friends, grocery shopping, to taking the kids to the park and even going surfing.
The unique design/build competition included 34 professional "Constructors" from ten states. Earning himself a first place prize and $3,000 in winnings was Tony Pereira of Pereira Cycles. The Portland native designed his car replacement with an electric assist motor and a sound system, hoping to ease the transition from car to bicycle. Fellow Portlanders Tsunehiro Cycles and Silas Beebe/ID+ and Cielo by Chris King came in second and third place for their tough looking utility cruisers.
Taking top place for the student teams was University of Oregon. The large design team included students from multiple terms that saw the project from initial concept design through to the finished product. Included in the beginning ideation and research was the now graduated Andrew Lindley who described the campus bike as a blend of "utility and portability to enhance the urban cycling experience." The compact geometry vies to make commuting safer and parking easier with a retractable kickstand and rear rack. Such innovative touches compelled legendary Nike design guru Tinker Hatfield to say the bike was a "fresh, creative approach... the future."
The winning bicycles and Creative Collaborations will be on show in Portland's Museum of Contemporary Craft from 17 September through 29 October.