November 8, 2009

Folding bikes and the art of innovation

I love bikes and I would like to be able to take my two daughters biking beyond our Sao Paulo neighborhood.  Unfortunately, our three bikes don't fit in our family bike (let alone in my Mini Cooper).  

For the past week I've been doing some online research on folding bikes, from very simple concepts to high-end folding mountain bikes. Some really fascinating projects.  

One video I found on YouTube, part of the Open University series, is absolutely fantastic because it has UK Industrial Desginer Mark Sanders  explain step-by-step the entire process he went through in creating his revolutionary Strida folding bike.  The video shows how he started off with a very specific brief inspired by baby strollers.  It goes on to show his rigourous approach to developing hypotheses, creating as many designs as possible, validating, screening, prototyping and testing, testing, testing.  I particularly enjoyed how, after launching the first commercial version, he incorporated consumer feedback to evolve and refine each aspect of his project.  At the end, he mentions a few ideas he has to take his project to the next level, confirming how great design and product development should be a continuous process.  

For those who love design and the innovation process, this is a truly inspirational video.

No comments: