PennBike June 2004 – September 2008, University of Pennsylvania Campus

Design Team: Annette Fierro & Jenny E. Sabin

In 2003, Annette Fierro, Jenny Sabin and Penn Praxis were asked by Penn Division of Public Safety, Penn Facilities and Real Estate Services and the Office of the University Architect to examine the question of bicycling on campus. To answer the problem of theft, they had a keen interest in bicycle storage systems. As architects at PennDesign, Annette Fierro and Jenny Sabin, came to understand the problem of bicycling as multi-faceted. Even the simple problem of locating storage elements implicates travel patterns, routes, and habits of riders, and includes questions of policy and education. Precedents from around the world were researched and it was discovered that when bicycling had been addressed systemically as a viable system of alternative transportation, it had been touted through benefits as diverse as alleviation of congestion, air quality improvement and health. Groups and individuals associated with cycling were approached and it became clear that for avid cyclists, bicycling is a way of life, an ethical stand, a life-long advocacy.YOUR bicycle: A mere contraption of chrome and gears and spokes yet far more than a blip on a long trajectory of love for personal gadgets. It is a bike, an extension of legs and lungs, a beloved body-persona machine.PARK your bike in its element. Lock it to a spiral rack located near your destination. Minimal, convenient and spunky in primal geometry: Two-point locking, inexpensive modularity and infinite extension granted by basic mathematics and simple ground connection. An oval-shaped tubular section keeps the cutters away. Weather and security-shy? Enclose your bike inside glowing cocoons, lockers beyond your dreams: Effortlessly moving assemblages of gossamer fabric, metal componentry and lighting. More specifically: A deployable canopy of specially woven, ribbed fire-resistant security fabric over high-strength galvanized steel ribs. Inside, the spiral racks can be painted any number of fun colors according to whim and context: Intumescent, aqueous emulsion, sparkling metallic paint, that is. Fiber-optic lighting makes our structure sparkle and radiate safety whenever anyone or anything moves nearby. Our canopy locks to a bolt in the ground and is controlled by a ganged card-swiped locking mechanism, financed as needed through the card.MORE than a provided convenience or security gadget, our rack and locker challenges the constituency of cyclists, granting the avid cyclist just rewards as well as attracting newcomers, stylization teasing all into a new way of life. As a highly designed artifact, a desirable object going well beyond its function, it implicates the culture of cycling onto the identity of the user. Enlivening the daily grind of the to-and-fro, it signifies collective FUN.Three solutions are proposed with the following attributes: While the systems provide facilities for security and shelter, as highly designed artifacts, desirable objects going well beyond their function, they also implicate the culture of cycling onto the identity of the campus. They signify collective fun, providing moments which lighten the daily grind of to and fro. But they do also function: The racks provide short-term convenient parking, which will be installed, with bright lighting, at all building entrances. The lockers are intended for those who do not have offices or dorms for parking their bicycles but who would like a secure spot for overnight parking near all late night campus facilities. They will be constructed of high-security, specially woven ribbed fabric with fiber optic lighting and card-swipe locking mechanisms. The station would be a facility proper for long-term storage, located centrally on campus with a life of its own, replete with associated retail and amenities like showers and lockers. Located near mass transit, the station would be open to the general public. Here cyclists from Penn might meet cyclists from the city, and anyone else who likes lingering around beautiful pieces of machinery.