New York City currently uses thousands of CityRacks, which are variations of fabricated square steel tube that take up little sidewalk space and don’t interfere with the flow of city life. But according to the City, the CityRack has been used for over 10 years and can’t continue as an NYC icon to promote cycling as a preferred and convenient means of transportation. The City will use the winner of the sidewalk rack competition as its new bike-parking standard, and Google will install the winning design for the in-building rack in its NYC headquarters.
The CityRack does seem economical in terms of space — but I’m sure there are better materials and designs that could both improve the space situation for bike racks in New York and encourage City commuters to regularly rely on their bicycles for transportation. Perhaps a vertical design could be a solution, stacking bikes on top of one another rather than side-by-side. And maybe there is a durable material out there that could retract when bicycles aren’t inside it — a flexible material that would still be durable enough to last indefinitely, and maintain its integrity in both sweltering summer months and frigid winters.
What materials or designs do you think would contribute to the most effective bike rack, in terms of space and usability? Find out more about the competition and upcoming registration dates, and let me know if you’re entering a design in the competition.
During a teardown of the iPad Air and Microsoft Surface Pro 3 at the Medical Design & Manufacturing Show in Schaumburg, Ill., an engineer showed this "inflammatory" video about the dangers of maliciously mishandling lithium-ion batteries.
Science fiction author Isaac Asimov may have the best rules for effective brainstorming and creativity. His never-before-published essay, "On Creativity," recently made it to the Web pages of MIT Technology Review.
Much has been made over the potentially dangerous flammability of lithium-ion batteries after major companies like Boeing, Sony, and Tesla have grappled with well-publicized battery fires. Researchers at Stanford University may have come up with a solution to this problem with a smart sensor for lithium-ion batteries that provides a warning if the battery is about to overheat or catch fire.
In this new Design News feature, "How it Works," we’re starting off by examining the inner workings of the electronic cigarette. While e-cigarettes seemed like a gimmick just two or three years ago, they’re catching fire -- so to speak. Sales topped $1 billion last year and are set to hit $10 billion by 2017. Cigarette companies are fighting back by buying up e-cigarette manufacturers.
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