Designers and manufacturers of bikes, like other manufacturers in the industry, purposefully design short lifespans and stimulate fast upgrades. Bikes and their components are replaced without a second thought, resulting in superficial relations and indifference towards waste. Cycleship uses design to create long-lasting and evolving relations, supporting personal attachment and cooperative alliances between users and their bikes.
This project is a result of a series of workshops, taking place at KABK, with Jen, Niya and Cate who were invited through an open call. Rather than creating a new bike, the process aimed to cultivate understanding, care, respect, and empathy towards their existing bike, by facilitating a process of learning about its workings, pitfalls, potentials, and possibilities. Instead of being a product or a service, Cycleship is a method that takes shape in a workshop environment. Through a dialogue of negotiating decisions between the participants, their bikes and me, we learn and create attachment together. The participant’s feedback, inspiration, and engagement craft the path of the result, bringing joy and affection into the process.
Without illusions to change a systematic problem of the design industry, Cycleship aims to reflect on the existing conditions and cultivate a different form of behavior. From oiling a noisy chain to re-welding the bike’s frame, Cycleship creates a companion for life.