By using a special type of plastic, designers at Designaffairs Studio made a bicycle with a transparent frame. It’s perfect for the cyclist who worries that they stand out too much in traffic and want to just be less visible. Yes, that’s a joke. I mean really, aren’t cyclists usually going out of their way to be MORE visible? Like the ‘light up like a Christmas tree’ bike light system I wrote about here previously.
The one way I could see this transparent frame being of any benefit whatsoever is if you pack it full of bright LEDs, so you have a glowing frame. It wouldn’t help much during the day, but at night, no one is going to miss you!
When I saw this eBike concept from Frog Design, my initial reaction was, look at all that wasted space in the middle section where a larger battery could reside. It’s a trap I fall into sometimes…trying to optimize any design for function and performance, while ignoring what is perhaps the most important element of any product design.
That center void in the bike concept? It looks cool and creates flowing curves, further enhanced through the use of materials, colors, and illumination (check out some of the other pictures for that). The emotional attachment between a consumer and the product is absolutely critical. Not to say that technical performance isn’t, but you can’t have one without the other. Apple’s iPads and iPhones are great examples of that, where the form factor and graphical user interface create a welcoming experience for the user and ultimately a very successful product.
With the miniaturization of technology, more and more emphasis will be placed on the emotional side of design. I mean, who wouldn’t want to own a lightcycle if given the chance!