The Atlanta Bike
Spring 2017 Group Project
Objective: To design a bicycle for commuting to demonstrate a system approach to design, an underlying rationale that is reinforced in each project component, mechanical interaction between units, and model name and brand language used to identify the bicycle system.
Our goal was to strengthen the Atlanta community, unifying the neighborhoods of Atlanta through cycling and giving the user a greater sense of belonging.
Team: Zoe Mims, Kira de Bruyn, Allie Haydon
The Atlanta Bike
The Atlanta Bike aims to unite the community and encourage Atlanta to become a more bike-friendly city.
Our final design puts an emphasis on community. The middle bar on the frame of the Atlanta Bike contained community clips. This interactive design allows users to collect and trade community clips to put on display.
The community clips provide support for local businesses and events while facilitating conversation between users. As users collect new clips and trade older clips, their Atlanta Bike will evolve and represent their unique experience of the city's culture while encouraging community interaction.
The Atlanta Bike contains features that increase safety and comfort for the user. The bike in clouds comfortable handlebars, inner-seat storage with a charger, an internally geared hub, non-slip pedals, internally wired disc brakes, and a belt drive for durability.
Our research included observing and talking with commuters, visiting local bike shops, and riding bikes ourselves. Through this research, we discovered that Atlanta is not currently a very bike-friendly city. However, the city has been working to improve this through the growing project, the Beltine, which is a path that connects the neighborhoods of Atlanta. Through our research, we decided that we wanted to focus on creating a bike that would unite the city and make biking more appealing to the residents of Atlanta. The Beltline is working to connect the city, so why can't your own bike do the same?
The Problem: Many people do not commute via bike because they do not feel safe while riding through unfamiliar areas of Atlanta.
We conducted further research in order to better inform our design and our brand. We explored the architecture and the character of the different neighborhoods throughout the city of Atlanta. By better understanding these different areas, we could discover the best way to unify them through our bicycle design.
Insight: If the biking community were a more integral part of the greater Atlanta community, bikers would feel safer and be more encouraged to ride.
We developed personas that represented our main user group of young professionals.
Atlanta Design Language
Based on our research throughout Atlanta, we came up with photos and words that represented the design language of Atlanta.
We created a mood board to represent the brand language that would influence our design. This was inspired by the design language of the different neighborhoods of Atlanta.
Our initial ideation explored a wide range of ideas and concepts with different features.
We developed three initial concepts that explored different elements that we wanted to focus on in our design.
After reviewing the initial concepts, we did further ideation to explore more specific features of our bike. The challenge was creating an original bike frame that would would have the function of connecting commuters in Atlanta.
Full Scale Prototyping
The construction of these full scale prototypes was the turning point in our design. We took a step back from our previous sketches and the design that we constructed out of pink foam and asked ourselves if our bike was actually fulfilling our criteria and enhancing the community. From here we narrowed our focus and began moving in the right direction.
As we looked back on our concepts that involved light showing which part of the community each rider comes from, we realized that these design ideas did not encourage physical interactions between riders or the community itself. We redirected our concept toward the idea of the Community Clip to as a more tangible way of connecting the community through the bike frame itself.
In order to capture the design language of Atlanta and with our brand language, we explored different color combinations for the frame of our bike. In our final design, we decided to go with more neutral colors to emphasize the colors of the community clips and let that be the focal point of the bike.
Our final concept consists of materials that are lightweight, easy to manufacture, and use modern innovative technologies.
The Final Design
The Atlanta Bike aims to unite the community and encourage Atlanta to become a more bike friendly city in order to create a better environment for commuters.
Full Scale Final Model
We created a full scale final model of the Atlanta Bike using various materials and processes.
The Atlanta Bike App
The Atlanta Bike app is supplementary to the bike itself. The app helps riders stay connected digitally and helps enhance community even further. The app has features that help the user find events and businesses in the area, unlock achievements by trading clips, scan clips using individual QR codes, track personal progress and activity, and view upcoming events in each area of the city.