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The Bicycle. Cult Object - Design Object

Exhibition  /  11 Nov 2022  -  22 Sep 2024
Published: 09.11.2022
Road racing bike, 1989. Design: Togashi Engineering. Manufacturer: Togashi Engineering, Japan. Loan from Reiner Balke. Photo: Die Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum (Kai Mewes).
Road racing bike, 1989. Design: Togashi Engineering. Manufacturer: Togashi Engineering, Japan. Loan from Reiner Balke. Photo: Die Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum (Kai Mewes)

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Intro
The exhibition puts the topic of bicycle design in the limelight for the first time. The focus is thus on the design and not on the cultural history of these means of transport with all the different developments it has gone through.
The exhibition puts the topic of bicycle design in the limelight for the first time. The focus is thus on the design and not on the cultural history of these means of transport with all the different developments it has gone through. No less than 70 examples will be showcased that are among the most unusual and most exciting bicycles in design history.

Today’s bicycle boom needs to be seen not only against the background of a growing awareness of health issues, sustainability, and environmental protection but also embodies a feeling for life that stands for flexibility, mobility, a work/life balance, sports, and also (influenced by the pandemic) for safety. Be it fast or slow, by the power of one’s own muscles or by an electric motor, the bicycle offers possible solutions for the transportation and mobility problems of our cities; the bicycle changes our leisure time behavior. No two bicycles are the same, as bicycles are not purely utilitarian objects or just the most widespread means of transport in the world, but also design and cult objects, where technology, function, and aesthetics go hand in hand.

Bicycle design is closely bound up with the history of technological innovations, be it the drive systems, the suspension, brakes, gear shifts or other components. The material with its particular properties (wood, iron, steel, aluminum, magnesium, titanium, plastic, carbon, etc.) plays a decisive role in the frame design, for the weight or the aerodynamics, as does the manufacturing techniques used, which extend from classical frame-building using tubes (welding, butting, soldering, screwing, slot-ting, gluing) or mold-casted or pressed metal or plastic frames through to frames made on 3D printers.

Bicycle design is certainly not just about the skill of the craftsmen and the art of frame-building, not just the product of ingenious inventors, tinkerers, obsessed or enthusiastic amateurs, as can be seen from the countless designs by aerospace or automobile engineers, such as Paul Jaray, Hermann Klaue or Alex Moulton as well as by industrial designers including Luigi Colani, Richard Sapper, Michael Conrad, Giorgetto Giugiaro, Marc Newson, Christian Zanzotti or Ross Lovegrove.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a bilingual catalog.
 
“Hirondelle” safety low wheel, model “Superbe”, 1890. Design and manufacturer: Manufacture Francaise d’Armes et Cycles de Saint-Etienne, France. Loan from Deutsches Fahrradmuseum. Photo: Die Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum (Kai Mewes).
“Hirondelle” safety low wheel, model “Superbe”, 1890. Design and manufacturer: Manufacture Francaise d’Armes et Cycles de Saint-Etienne, France. Loan from Deutsches Fahrradmuseum. Photo: Die Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum (Kai Mewes)

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Keim edition arvak wooden bike, 2014. Design: Paule Guerin, Till Breitfuss, maufacturer: Keim Cycles, Savonniere  [lndre-et-Loirel, France. Loan from Reiner Balke. Photo: Die Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum (Kai Mewes).
Keim edition arvak wooden bike, 2014. Design: Paule Guerin, Till Breitfuss, maufacturer: Keim Cycles, Savonniere  [lndre-et-Loirel, France. Loan from Reiner Balke. Photo: Die Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum (Kai Mewes)

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Biria Unplugged mountain bike, 1996-8. Design: TM-Design. Manufacturer: Biria GmbH, Neukirch, Germany
. Die Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum. Photo: Die Neue Sammlung (Kai Mewes).
Biria Unplugged mountain bike, 1996-8. Design: TM-Design. Manufacturer: Biria GmbH, Neukirch, Germany
Die Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum. Photo: Die Neue Sammlung (Kai Mewes)

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City bike "Comfortable“, 1982, Design: Odo Klose. Manufacturer: Sprick Fahrräder GmbH, Oelde, Germany. Photo: Die Neue Sammlung (Kai Mewes).
City bike "Comfortable“, 1982, Design: Odo Klose. Manufacturer: Sprick Fahrräder GmbH, Oelde, Germany. Photo: Die Neue Sammlung (Kai Mewes)

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AM 7 folding bike, 1983. Design: Alex Moulton. Manufacturer: Alex Moulton Limited, Bradford on Avon, Great Britain. Loan from Deutsches Fahrradmuseum. Photo: Die Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum (Kai Mewes).
AM 7 folding bike, 1983. Design: Alex Moulton. Manufacturer: Alex Moulton Limited, Bradford on Avon, Great Britain. Loan from Deutsches Fahrradmuseum. Photo: Die Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum (Kai Mewes)

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Pedersen Bicycle, 1893. Design: Mikael Pedersen. Manufacturer: Dursley-Pedersen Cycle Co, Ltd, Gloucestershire, England, 1910-11. Loan from Deutsches Fahrradmuseum, Bad Brückenau. Photo: Die Neue Sammlung (Kai Mewes).
Pedersen Bicycle, 1893. Design: Mikael Pedersen. Manufacturer: Dursley-Pedersen Cycle Co, Ltd, Gloucestershire, England, 1910-11. Loan from Deutsches Fahrradmuseum, Bad Brückenau. Photo: Die Neue Sammlung (Kai Mewes)

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J-Rad recumbent bicycle, 1919. Design: Paul Jaray (1889-1974). Manufacturer: Hesperus-Werke GmbH, Stuttgart, 1921-2. Loan from Deutsches Fahrradmuseum, Bad Brückenau. Photo: Die Neue Sammlung (Kai Mewes).
J-Rad recumbent bicycle, 1919. Design: Paul Jaray (1889-1974). Manufacturer: Hesperus-Werke GmbH, Stuttgart, 1921-2. Loan from Deutsches Fahrradmuseum, Bad Brückenau. Photo: Die Neue Sammlung (Kai Mewes)

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Biolove Carbon city bike, 2003-2011. Design: Ross Lovegrove. Manufacturer: Biomega, Hellerup, Denmark. Photo: Die Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum (Kai Mewes).
Biolove Carbon city bike, 2003-2011. Design: Ross Lovegrove. Manufacturer: Biomega, Hellerup, Denmark. Photo: Die Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum (Kai Mewes)

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Funicolo randonneur, 1935-7. Design: Jacques Schulz. Manufacturer: Jacques Schulz, La Garenne-Colombes, France. Loan from Deutsches Fahrradmuseum, Bad Brückenau. Photo: Die Neue Sammlung (Kai Mewes).
Funicolo randonneur, 1935-7. Design: Jacques Schulz. Manufacturer: Jacques Schulz, La Garenne-Colombes, France. Loan from Deutsches Fahrradmuseum, Bad Brückenau. Photo: Die Neue Sammlung (Kai Mewes)

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