1. Reflection on "Sharing"
Though born from the good intention of resources conservation, green commuting and making life more convenient, shared bicycles are becoming "monsters" under the unbridled commercial sprawl. They have consumed plenty of industrial raw materials, encroached on scarce urban public space and been dumped in horrible piles.
A large number of shared bicycles, without any quality problems, have been forced to "retirement". Do we have any better solutions to handle this problem instead of recycling them in a simple and crude manner? As a designer living in the city, I have been thinking about the possibility for friendly reuse of those abandoned bikes.
2. A Mobile Maker Classroom for Children
I have a friend who is specialized in maker education for children. He made some teaching props by himself, which often need to be moved in and out from his office. He usually tiled those teaching materials to a grocery cart and wheeled it around the school to explain them to the children and parents. Having seen this, I wanted to create a small and ingenious storage cart to support his maker education for kids.
By use of an abandoned bicycle, discarded iron car sheets, and leftover materials of eco-friendly boards, it was possible to make a mobile maker classroom for children. The goal was to make it creative, interesting and lively, and bring hope to reuse industrial waste in a natural and artistic way.
The shared bicycle was transformed into a tricycle with large loading capacity, in order to display more items. To protect the items and avoid moving them repeatedly, we designed a special cover on the shelf, which drew inspirations from lady beetles, a type of beneficial insect that kids are familiar with. The way that lady beetles open and close wings was applied to the cover, appealing and creative. Because of the beetle-wings-shaped cover, the shelf needs to be relatively long. With a view to ensuring the stability of the tricycle, we added an auxiliary omni wheel to its end. For the enclosed inner space, a multi-layer display structure was designed, which strengthens the whole installation and makes it more convenient to store items. From top to bottom, the layers gradually become larger in size, with the lowest one enabling kids to sit and lean on.
3. A Micro Shared Library
Although it was originally designed to be a children's mobile maker classroom, I also hoped to endow it with multiple functions. The interior spaces for displaying items are flexibly partitioned into several smaller storage areas by plates, which can be freely adjusted according to users' needs. Besides, all the partitions can also be removed, through which a complete big space will be formed. The installation can be customized based on different needs, making it versatile and "universal".
For example, it can be used as a micro shared library, where second-hand books collected from my friends were arranged. Each friend provided one or more books, and they were invited to write a sentence on the books they shared. This tiny shared library can be placed in somewhere in the city. Everyone is allowed to read the books and put their idle books here to replace their loved one. Shared bikes have been abandoned in cities. However, it brings promising possibility for book sharing.
4. Shared Lady Beetle in the unknown city
Urban development constantly creates new things, which may bring hope or cause great disappointment.
Facing the unknown development in the city, we should stay positive, strive to change waste into treasure and tackle changing situation responsively, so as to better take care of the city and the earth.
The Shared Lady Beetle, is like a "beneficial insect" walking on the "urban leaf", which can be used as a mobile library, a stall, or a maker classroom for kids, etc. Or, it is merely well-meaning reflection on unknown urban development...