There must be a word in the English language for when a thing is designed to look like another object with which it’s associated in some practical way, but we can’t find a suitable word. Take for example, this bicycle rack in Silver Lake, in Los Angeles. The rack is shaped like a set of bicycles. It’s a nice touch that makes an otherwise mundane, utilitarian piece of street furniture into an amusing part of the urban landscape. The bicycle shape of the rack communicates its purpose, making the rack easier to visually identify at a distance and thus the search for it that much easier. As for a suitable word, we suggest creating a new, more applicable word. Our suggestion: “resembladinger.” It’s a portmanteau we mashed up from the the words “resemble” and the old Germanic word “ding,” which means thing. We added an “-er” suffix for effect and to suggest it having a practical, tool-like quality. Any other suggestions? Let us know.
In June, Tokyo Bike opened one of it’s minimalist bicycle shops on the Bowery, in New York City’s Lower East Side. The location is prime and puts the shop square in the heart of downtown’s art, culture and style scene: The New Museum is across the street, fashion photographer Terry Richardson’s studio is down the block, Helmut Lang is a few doors down the street, and dozens of art galleries and hip boite dot the surrounding border area where the LES meets Nolita.
It’s the first stateside store of the independent Japanese bike brand, and currently it’s only planned as a summer pop-up store. But depending on public reception and sales this summer, the company may be opening a permanent home in the city in the near future.
Tokyo Bike’s bicycles are designed in Japan, built (like most of the world’s bikes) in Taiwan, and designed with the concept of “slow” urban cycling, where the experience of an easy-going bike ride in the city trumps concerns for speed and high-performance. That said, TB’s bikes are remarkably light (perfect for carrying up and down the stairs of an NYC tenement apartment building) and styled with an understated, elegant minimalism.
Check out this cool mini-documentary video that tells the story of the Prius x Parlee ( PxP ) bike, an innovative concept bicycle inspired by the technology principles of Toyota’s iconic hybrid car.
The bike was designed and built by Parlee. It’s ultra-light, aero-dynamic and made with carbon-fiber. An integral part of the concept is the use of a “neuro helmet,” which uses a rider’s brain waves to control gear shifting. A company called Deep Local developed the helmet technology exclusively for the PxP. It’s pretty amazing.
The Prius celebrated its ten-year anniversary in 2010 and the bike project is one in a series of original art, technology and video projects by Toyota to mark this milestone and introduce the next generation of its hybrid vehicles. Global Graphica’s very own Van Corsa worked as a creative producer on these projects – including the development of the Prius x Parlee concept and the bike project itself – with Toyota’s ad agency, Saatchi & Saatchi LA. Yay!