The Punkt. Urban Mobility Project (PUMP) is a collaboration established by Punkt.'s CEO Petter Neby and John Tree. Dan Hill gave essential advice on integrated transport systems while MMKM provided key input about user-focused vehicle design.
PUMP involved three European design schools: the RCA in London, Lausanne’s ECAL and Design Academy Eindhoven. The brief was to create a consumer electronics product that enhances personal mobility in the urban environment by making electric-assisted cycling easier and more accessible. The design was required to be specific to where the three Schools are situated. The prototypes of the bicycles were unveiled last weekend at Salone del Mobile 2017 in Milan at Palazzo Litta. Each of them reflects the distinctive culture and topography of respectively London, Lausanne and Eindhoven perfectly.
It is interesting to see how the very same design brief has led to such diverse approaches. Not only did the cities' different topography put its mark on the extent of electrification of the bicycle; the vehicles' characteristic designs were mainly defined by the diverse mindsets of the local (sub)cultures.
The variation in conceived e-bikes is a clear example of MMKM's definition of what a vehicle is: the physical crystallisation of the edge between human desires and contextual constraints. A vehicle that achieves to keep a crisp balance between these two force fields achieves to formulate a clear answer to the demands of its user as well as its environment.
This context-specificity is something mobility in general is shifting towards steadily. Especially in European urban environments, a whole bunch of new shades of transportation are slowly finding their way into use. These new modes of transport are merely introduced together with urban changes: a new traffic circulation plan, an extension of a pedestrian zone, a new sustainable neighbourhood... Always a praiseworthy step towards a perfect match between user, environment and mode!
Bike for two
Riding two up is common in the Netherlands. Now it’s also easy. The bench seat takes a passenger, and the motor takes the strain. Concealed battery, built in foot rests. Robust side stand, allowing the bike to function as instant street furniture. The result: conviviality à go-go.
Travelling in Lausanne means short distances but steep hills. This retro-fit motor harvests downhill braking energy that would otherwise be wasted as heat, and stores it ready to send back to the wheel the moment it is needed. The further you are from the centre of the planet, the more energy you have available to you.
London features a large number of co-working spaces; this e-bike is designed as an extra service for these businesses to offer. Removing a saddle to prevent theft is normally a hassle; here it’s a handy way to bring the battery in for recharging. The integral navigation system helps non-Londoners find their way around.
Congratulations to all the students involved, who did a tremendous job in such a short time span!
More info on the website of Punkt.
(Punkt., DAE, ECAL, RCA, Lowie Vermeersch, Wouter Haspeslagh)