RSA 2008 Awards - Design Against Bicycle Theft Brief
This project was undertaken with a fellow Graphic Designer Ana Carolina Gomes and Product Design Anton Webb. Anton designed the actual storage solution whilst Ana and I researched into how to use wayfinding as a deterent against theft (details below). We then split up the design tasks equally and I was left to design a 110 page hardcover sketchbook and the boards.
This solution is a multi faceted system with the aims of reducing bike theft and promoting cycling in London. The core of this system is centred around a bike shelter which we designed to inhibit theft. The premise is that the bicycles are lifted up above people’s heads with the base wheel being 8 feet off the ground ensuring that any bike theft could not be done inconspicuously. The structure is made from brushed stainless steel, which incorporates the new TFL aesthetic, and is electronically powered and activated by an oyster card. At night when a bicycle is placed it is bathed in a green light, which by lowering heart rate and having a calming effect, creates an adverse environment for theft. Furthermore if a bicycle is then stolen it is easily noticeable that there should be one there as the light is still on.
The system is aligned with Transport For London because in order to install these shelters government funding would be needed and by adopting systems that are already in place costs will be kept to a minimum. TFL is a trusted brand and therefore an air of familiarity and trustworthiness is projected upon the shelters, ensuring that users will feel comfortable using this new system. Furthermore, in terms of wayfinding, by uniting various contemporary systems visual clutter is subsequently reduced in London thus making the process of storing a bike as streamlined as possible.
In order to get government funding this solution will be tested during the London Olympics in 2012. This provides an ideal opportunity for the government to see how the system helps with their aims of seeming green and regeneration. The latter will be promoted by booklets and online information being published about recommended cycling routes and sites. In conjunction shelters will be strategically in these areas to ensure that people stop and spend their money in local shops. During this time the system will go through a rigorous test as there will be a large number of foreign users. Furthermore any success of Team Britain in cycling events can be capitalised upon to help promote cycling as a method of transport as well.
From research conducted it can be seen that people will often not bother using cycling parking facilities if they are not easy to get to. Therefore in order to ensure users can locate these shelters the wayfinding has been aligned with Legible London. Funded by Mayor of London and already being tested, Legible London incorporates all outlets of the TFL brand into its wayfinding and as a system is near flawless. It also uses multimedia effectively, such as audio and iPhone, to make navigation easy and accessible for able bodied and disabled alike. Therefore by adopting the system into this wayfinding solution no extra cost is incurred. The Legible London aesthetic has been adopted for maps found online as a microsite at tfl.gov.uk to aid people in finding these new shelters.