”There are nine million bicycles in Beijing”….Lyrics are the British singer/songwriter Katie Melua. It´s a very nice song. But for small start-up company Double U in Copenhagen the line could also be an obvious business opportunity. For a year now they have been designing and producing mobile bike stands suitable for festivals, cafés, concerts – actually anywhere people would visit by bike but that do not have the space or cabability for permanent bicycle parking.
”Our idea is to improve the lives of event and festival organisers, as well as urban cyclists, by offering an easy-to-use solution that helps organise and secure the bicycles”, explains the designer of the Double U, Aurélia Durand.
The idea for Double U Mobile Bike Parking came from observing the lives and behaviour of cyclists in Copenhagen. During this period the two owners of Double U, French industrial designer Aurélia Durand and Norwegian businessman Daniel Espeland, both situated in Copenhagen, found that it is particularly difficult for cyclists to bring their bikes to urban events and festivals, as there is seldom accommodation for bike parking.
”We investigated the challenge of parking in the future, and found three constraints: Firstly, it’s hard to find a place to park your bike, due to lack of space, or bad space optimisation. Secondly, when lots of bikes are in place, it is difficult to move around; it hampers people-flow. Thirdly, it can be extremely hard to find your bike later, because someone has moved it, you can’t remember any reference points or you’ve just forgotten altogether.
Inspired by the Danish way
After two years of residency in Copenhagen, Aurélia Durand has no doubts as to why she is inspired by Danish design:
”Firstly: Danes don´t just talk about things they would like to change: they change them. It is under the influence of this mindset that we have been urged and inspired to act upon our observations and the frustrations that challenge bikers”, she states, and continues:
”Secondly there´s a cleanliness and strength in Danish design where function is followed by form and not the other way around. We used this to combine our observations with the design.”
From their observations, they knew they had to work with the shape and form to make the solution highly flexible and easy to store and transport. The design consists of interlacing wooden boards that create a zigzag shape, allowing for bikes to be parked on both sides. The shape forms many vertical angles, which helps the bike stand.
The boards of the parking solution also create a physical surface, which can serve as a platform to share messages, art, pictures or adverts. The boards are made in Denmark.
”We strive for a sustainable approach that respects the environment. So we use a wood that is easy to recycle (cradle to cradle) and we produce the boards at the same time and in large quantities. We rent the boards until they are worn out – this takes about 3–5 years,” says Aurélia, before concluding:
”Of course especially Denmark, but also the northern parts of Europe as well as the other Scandinavian countries, have different and harder weather compared to Southern countries, which is why we continuously work on improving the material used for DoubleU. At this point we are very intrigued by carboard.”
For more information visit Double U