In collaboration with ArjoDesign, our proposal for the CityRacks design competition aimed not only to provide attractive and convenient bike racks for cyclists, but also create greater civic engagement by making the racks useful to non-cyclists as well.
The plastic caps on the top loop of the racks branded the racks with embossed and stickered text, using color to reinforce the NYC Cycling Map. The color choice was based on the city’s routes, and we envisioned adding more hues to the palette as new greenways and paths were forged. Color was a significant element of our design solution because it could help riders quickly identify the paths they were on.
The rack or rack cluster’s caps had a unique identifying number which could be used to access important cycling and route info. Dialing into the system with a mobile device, a user would input a code which returned a url that linked to Google Maps with a NYC Cycling Map overlay. The code provided the exact geo-position of the bike rack, giving the user his/her exact location on the map. This data would be cycling-focused at first (nearest bike shop, nearest hospital, etc) but eventually could be rolled out to include local history, nearby landmarks and parks. In this way, the rack would serve as information hotspot and cultural ambassador for all the boroughs of NYC.