Academy of Art University Students Corral Bike Rack Design Honors

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Pedalution, by a team of Academy of Art U. School of Industrial Design students, was the top submission in a competition to design a portable bike rack for San Francisco's Yerba Buena neighborhood.

Riding your bike to the big event is the sustainable choice. But anticipation can turn to disappointment if all the spots to lock up your ride are taken. In a competition to design a portable bike corral for San Francisco’s Yerba Buena neighborhood, four of five finalist designs were by Academy students, including the winner.

In a biking-obsessed urban community like the Bay Area, spots to secure a bicycle are at a premium, especially when community events draw big crowds. The Yerba Buena Community Benefit District and the San Francisco Planning Department sought to address the shortage by creating a competition to “meet the growing demand for bike parking at cultural and special events … and encourage even more people to use sustainable alternatives for transportation.” The competition drew 35 entries from the Bay Area and around the world, including Spain, India, Slovenia and Iran. The brief? Design a portable bike storage unit that can be moved by one or two people, is secure, easily compressed, visually appealing, easy to use, and can be build for less than $10,000.

The members of Pedalution, the winning team in the Yerba Buena competition. Left to right: Kevin Capo, Marissa Gurevitz, Jill McDonald.

The members of Pedalution, the winning team in the Yerba Buena competition. Left to right: Kevin Capo, Marissa Gurevitz, Jill McDonald. Photo by Bob Toy.

Pedulation, the winning entry from an Academy Industrial Design School team that included students Jill McDonald, Marissa Gurevitz and Kevin Capo, incorporates a folding bicycle rack on recycled rubber casters.

The process of creating it was intensely collaborative, says McDonald, a U.K. native interested in shoe design who also teaches yoga classes part time at the Academy. “An important part of the design process is observation,” she says, “and we spent time in the Yerba Buena area, observing the type of place it is, so we could reflect elements of the environment in the final corral.”

Describing those elements, Gurevitz says, “The design for each circle represents the park as well as the city of San Francisco. We felt that using aspects of the park and city would create a recognizable, iconic design.”

“Knowing it was going to be fabricated was a great motivator, as we really wanted to see our design come to life,” adds McDonald.

The winning team receives a $500 award and will work with a fabricator to produce a prototype for use in the Yerba Buena neighborhood.

Finalist project: Tumbleweed

Finalist project: Tumbleweed

Finalist project: BAM

Finalist project: BAM

Finalist project: Park-Kit

Finalist project: Park-Kit

The other three finalist teams from the Academy’s Industrial Design program were:
• Stop-N-Lock (Tumbleweed): John McFaul, Deniz Becer, Soyoung Lee
• BAMdesign: Billy Wong, William (Andy) Hall, Manuel (Manu) Busto
• Park-Kit: Adamu (Adam) Chu, Heejin Eom, Jorge (George) Ibarra

Tom Matano, executive director of Industrial Design at the Academy, acknowledged the Academy teams’ accomplishments. “We gave this competition as a short subject to two of our sophomore-level product design classes, Product Design 3 with Wayne Kasom and Product Design 4 with Agota Jonas as instructors. The students took up this challenge on top of their semester-long projects.

“I am proud of what they came up with in a couple of weeks for these great results. It shows our program’s strength.” Matano notes that the Academy’s Industrial Design School recently was ranked fourth among the best product design schools in Europe and Americas in the prestigious Red Dot Design awards.

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