TagColumbia College

I support the Columbia College urban bike project

Senior Product Design students at Columbia College in Chicago studying under Carl Boyd have developed prototypes for bicycle use for several years. I first saw these students in action in December 2007 when they presented their products to some MBAC attendees.

I later wrote about one project, bike-friendly enhancements for the ‘L’ from Adair Heinz and Tune Koshy.

A different team at the same presentation showed off their specialized bag for paramedics who bike. At the bike swap meet in February 2010, the students showed off the result of their collaboration with Po Campo, a Chicago company selling handmade bags for women who ride bikes.

Students worked closely with Emily and Maria of Po Campo to design new products the company could adopt into its product line. They present these designs to attendees at the swap meet earlier this year.

Carl is trying to get some of these products into commercial production with the next group of graduates, with help from anyone and everyone through Kickstarter. The annual program for 2010 has completed. Carl writes on Kickstarter:

In the past 4 years, the Urban Bike Design Project, has always come *this* close to seeing projects launched into the real world, but the lack of starter funding kept dropping the kickstand on each one. Our students have limited pocket money, and we want these prototypes made street-ready, to put in the hands of people who need them. This time we are seeking funds for prototyping costs, and we know that the Kickstarter community cares as much about this project as we do!

I’ve twice witnessed the high-quality and thoughtful designs from the students and I pledged money. The project needs $2,000 by November 3, in order for the pledges to turn into donations.

CTA ‘L’ station bike enhancements

Tune Koshy and Adair Heinz, Columbia College graduates of industrial design, created this 3D video of their ideas for public transit enhancements for bicyclists. The changes are specific to Chicago Transit Authority ‘L’ train stations, as many transit systems around the world already have these features or, in the case of fare gates, an alternative to what the CTA employs.

It was presented to myself and others after a 2008 Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Council meeting.

The ideas are:
1. Bigger, easier fare gates for people rolling bicycles into the station. (Many transit stations around the world use automatic gates instead of turnstiles like the CTA.)
2. Wheel channels for rolling bike up stairs. (This is a fairly common feature.)
3. Train interior space for holding bicycles vertically. (This is common on light rail in the United States.)

Read the discussion on Flickr.

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