Bikes: Riding Safely

Abstract

Every day ten or more cyclists in Sweden are involved in accidents serious enough to warrant a trip to the hospital. Most of them are hurt when falling off their bikes or crashing without any external involvement.

Cycling has always been a staple transport, and the trend keeps growing with the current green wave. The cyclists helmet today looks pretty much the same way it always has, and the reasons for not wanting to use this often life saving equipment remain the same. My project focus has been to circumvent these reasons, and find something that would actually be used every single day, no matter where or how you ride.

The final result is a product that fits its context in a superior way to anything else available on the market, and hopefully allows users to feel free from the regular constraints of a normal helmet.

Inspiration and Method

Helmets today have a contextual problem. They are too intrusive. For some it's about personal style and for some the space in a handbag. I made it a priority to make this product something interesting and confident. My vision was based largely on inspiration from the fashion industry and the way hype is generated.

Research was carried out on a large scale with close connection to the user base. Throughout the project users have been contacted for evaluation. Discussion with fellow designers and non-designers alike provided interesting insight and valid criticism - which only strengthened the concept.

Verifying the concept through workshop trial and error has been key. It was very important to find a proper way to get my design as flexible as possible while still remaining strong and impact resilient. Parallel to this I worked with sketching and 3D software to get to the desired look and feel.

Result

A romantic mix between a traditional beanie and a helmet, something that is both physically and aesthetically flexible: the Odin.

Main surfaces consist of PET plastics, which are great for initial impact energy dispersion and slip reduction. These surfaces also offer an incredible amount of visual flexibility, with virtually any colour or surface finish available.

Odin uses a non-Newtonian fluid for cushioning. It's like play-doh when you hold it - but a small piece like the one in any of the cells is actually resilient enough to stop a bullet.

Combining this with a knit structure, the individual cell structure gives my concept serious flexibility, which allows the user to fold it up to a much more convenient size and simply stow it away.

All of these things blend into one beautiful idea, which I picture would be made to order, with a plethora of customisable options available to the consumers.