B’Twin and Local Motors launch a series of contests to co-create an electric tricycle

the forge btwin competition

Yesterday I received an email from B’Twin’s press department, it was entitled “the 1st bike created by a global community” (in French). That made me curious, and after reading the email and the attached press release, it was clearer what they meant by this statement : the bicycle brand has launched a co-creation contest on Local Motors’ community website The Forge to ask people to design a new personal transport vehicle, the “B’Twin Vélomobile”. A couple of months ago, Quirky has held a short project about reinventing the bicycle, but it was more an entertainment/PR/community animation project than an actual co-creation project. Want to know a little bit more about B’Twin’s contest? Continue reading →

Calling all bicycle design fans: get the Cyclepedia iPad app!

This week I’ve dowloaded Cyclepedia, an iPad application about iconic bicycle designs. I wouldn’t have expected to be so pleasantly surprised by an application like that: it’s well-designed, interactive, beautiful and highly interesting! I’ve discovered folding bikes, asymetrical bikes, tiny bikes, and even allroad-bikes (not offroad, allroad!)… and everything is presented in a fantastic navigation. Get it (really)!


The screen is the applications navigation by bike weight. Look at the top of the image, these are the other possible navigation settings. Simply awesome!

What creative consumers craft with old bikes: my favorites of the Scraplab Design Contest


(Image via scraplab-community.com)

The crafting movement is taking off since a couple of years now. Websites like Etsy or Sugru are examples of communities that gather around modifying and showcasing creative peoples’ crafts, recycled objects of self-designed decoration (you might also want to check out IKEA Hackers, the blog). On this blog, I’ve already covered this trend through a book review of Marke Eigenbau (“Brand DIY” in German) or a documentary about Arduino electronics. In the last two and a-half months, an online contest was organized to gather these creative peoples’ crafts and objects: the Scraplab Design Contest. As a fan of cycling, I wanted to showcase the most interesting cycling-related designs/crafts that came up. Continue reading →

With the b’Twin Lab, Oxylane launches its first branded co-creation platform (dedicated to cycling)


The b'Twin club of riders, which is accessible on the web and on smartphones, now has it's co-creation pendant du fuel innovation


The Oxylane group, (still) known as Décathlon, is one of the most innovative actors in sports, whether it is in designing, engineering and retailing great products that appeal to a large market. Led by designers such as Philippe Picaud, the French manufacturer and retailer not only innovates with very popular products, but they also succeeded in building private brands with a strong identity and high appeal. Today, “Oxylane’s global strategy is to open up the innovation process towards those who do sports and use all these products in their practice“, told me Sylvain Venant, Brand Innovation Manager for b’Twin (the cycling brand of Oxylane). A first step had been taken with the creation of a b’Twin Village  in the north of France in November 2010: it’s a venue that could be described as a mixture between a shop, a design center and playing field, where customers meet and interact with product managers and designers (and, of course, salespeople!). Now, a second step is the opening of a dedicated co-creation space called b’Twin Lab. Continue reading →

When co-creation is more entertainment than social product development: Quirky “reinvents the bicycle” in 24 hours


Nowadays, bikes are trendy. The industry is growing, mainly thanks to trends like eBikes and fixies, that broaden the target audience of cycling conciderably. The popular social product development platform Quirky recently decided to Reinvent The Bicyle in a 24h brainstorm on its platform, and the above image shows the outcome of the brainstorm, designed by Quirky’s design team in San Francisco, CA. Let’s have a look at the process… and the resulting bike, Modus. Continue reading →

Ca y est, on peut faire du vélo sur Google Earth !


Image via Instructables.com

C’est le site Instructables qui a trouvé le système. Après les vélos Google (qui capturent des images et autres données pour Google Street View) et l’option directions vélo sur Google Maps, la société de Mountain View permet maintenant à un cycliste de naviguer virtuellement dans Google Earth. Il suffit d’avoir un vélo (!), un home-trainer, une télé et quelques autres équipements courants ou open-source pour pouvoir réaliser le montage. Continue reading →

Eloge de la bicyclette, Marc Augé


Image: FFCT.org

La première fois que j’entendais l’anthropologue Marc Augé parler de vélo, c’était dans un récent numéro de Psychologie Magazine. Dans un article sur les stratégies du quotidien, il dit que “le cyclisme est une manière de changer son rapport au temps et à l’espace“, que “derrière l’idée du cyclisme, il y a l’idée […] de la ville vivable” et que “c’est un instrument très pédagogique… et incontestablement ethnologique“. Marc Augé est en effet ethnologue et directeur d’études à l’École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) à Paris, où il réfléchit sur le monde contemporain et les relations sociales. Il a notamment décrit le concept de surmodernité et de non-lieux (qui a certainement inspiré George Ritzer pour son livre The Globalization of Nothing). Continue reading →