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Grow Your Own Bike


Design Museum, London


Design Museum




Studio Bark Projects


Completed 2016


Studio Bark teamed up with other creative organisations in their Hackney Wick studios to form the Autumn Yard Design Collective for Future Bike: Live Challenge at Design Museum London. The teams came together by their shared passion for sustainable design, technology and education. Specifically, the collective’s goal was to pioneer an open source, wholly customisable bike that could be grown in your own home.

The future bike live challenge explored the future of bicycle building. Bamboo Bicycle Club tested the limits of their bamboo bike frames with the unique addition of 3D printed, carbon fibre reinforced lugs. With this in mind, the ultimate goal was to prototype an open source bike that could be easily replicated by anyone. As a result at home at school or anywhere in the world people could make their own bikes.

Grow your own bike

Certainly, bamboo is the fastest growing plant on the planet. Hence, the #Futurebike installation represented 8 years of growth in a UK climate. Imagine a future: Your child is born and you plant a bamboo shoot. Then, within 8 years, you harvest the bamboo, 3D Print your open source lugs and assemble your child’s first proper bike!

Bringing The Concept to Life

Bamboo Bicycle Club conceived the idea to combine high-tech, open-source 3D printed components, with low tech, naturally sourced bamboo tubes. They teamed up with Oxford Brookes University who specialise in testing and analysis of 3D printing technology, and contributed vital expertise to the project.

3D printing technology is developing at pace; it reduces the cost of both manufacture and wastage. Therefore, by combining technology and craft, the long term goal was to create a bicycle using sustainable materials with a reduced carbon footprint.

Certainly, bamboo could well supply our need for an alternative to metal and plastics. It’s renewable, sustainable and growers can put it to many of the same uses.  Furthermore, bamboo doesn’t need fertiliser or pesticides, it regrows, and it leaves no toxic materials behind.

Cycling is indeed widely recognised for its contribution to the health and well-being of our cities. The #futurebike concept aims to bring forward the benefits to more and more people. Consequently, with a new generation of low cost bikes, this system is open-source, sustainable and fully customisable!

The Team

Bamboo Bicycle Club, Studio Bark, Our Place, Utile Studio and Greatcoat Films formed the Autumn Yard Design Collective. Thanks to all the students and staff at Oxford Brookes and the University of East London. Special thanks to our main sponsor Cut and Construct. Further, to our bamboo supplier Bamboo Nursery and all of our kickstarter supporters. More info on each member below:

Bamboo Bicycle Club London helps people who are passionate about cycling to build and ride their own self-build bicycles. It is founded by James Marr and Ian McMillan who are two bike riding engineers. They decided to create a bicycling community with others who are interested in building their own beautiful, robust and environmentally friendlier bamboo bicycle frames.

Studio Bark is a pioneering architectural practice that delivers inspiring, yet cost-conscious environmental architecture, with a hands-on approach to research, design, fabrication and education.

Our Place is an independent design studio specialising in branding, typographic, editorial and digital projects. The studio was built on the foundations of two friends’ mutual love of clean, contemporary design. They have a strong focus on craft and collaboration.

UTILE create beautiful design & art delivered across multiple platforms. The studio combines expertise in branding, animation and digital with the more traditional practices of illustration, sign-painting and typography.

Greatcoat Films is an independent film production company specialising in online commercial content, music videos and short form documentary films.

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