FairBike

I worked at this project during my internship at The Incredible Machine in Rotterdam. The project itself was founded by Harm en Marcel, I was there to develop this project into a presentable version for on the annual dutch design week in Eindhoven. Fair Bike is an alternative towards the dockless bikesharing trend. It’s a decentralized autonomous organisation. Each bike collects its own money and reinvests these funds back into the network by issuing repairs or if the situation allows it, expand the service by adding a new bicycle to the network. In this way it will support local economies and control for the environment. During this project, I designed the identity of the bikes, the stand for the Dutch Design Week, altered the concept and co-developed the fair economy vision.

identity

The aim of the identity of FairBike was to deliver it as if it is a part of the public space, as if it is owned by no-one. That’s why I used the font used by most governments in signage of public space. The reflective material on the board of the bike represents the traditional traffic signage reflecting coating. The simple forms of the sign of fairbike together with the integrated lock form a single package that everyone could place on their bike. 

With the stickers on the rest of the bike I wanted to evoke a feeling of personality. This seemed to be one of the biggest problems of the sharing bike system nowadays. The bikes don’t have a story, they don’t belong to anyone or anywhere. With the use of stickers the bike can show it’s usage history.   

This prototype is made out of bend polyethylene combined with reflective traffic signage foil. The plastic is supported by a frame made of steel. 

While designing the exposition for the dutch design week, we focussed on the ideas behind the Fair Bike. Fair Bike is a case studie project to transfer the ideas of the fair economy.

Today’s economy is based on supply and demand. A circular economy is now emerging, this is based on connecting flows of materials to reduce physical waste. But there should also be an optimal version of our economy that fully serves society and the general interest. FairBike is an experiment to explore this optimal version of the economy. The shared bikes generate no profit but channel the revenue back into buying new bikes and repairing damaged bikes at a local repair shop. There is no owner and therefore no incentive to make profit. Only an incentive to grow to the right balance of availability and demand. The system uses software and an algorithm to allocate the bikes and uses blockchain to enable transfers between parties. This creates an independent economy.

You can read more about this project on www.the-incredible-machine.com

exposition

concept

Our traditional economy is based on a single-way system, where wealth flows abroad and is extracted from the local community. This system is based on profit and risks are only taken to enhance profit margins and this choice is often made only by the company’s shareholders.  The interests of the company is not alligned with that of the many, 

The equitable or fair economy is more inclusive regenerates value for the local community. Every repair or new bike is bought from a local business, therefore supporting the local and national economy of the country where the bike is used. There’s no incentive for making profit. No company nor person has the power to stop the Fair Bike movement. It can not go bankrupt because every single bike can be seen as one company. The equitable economy is based on democracy. Fair Bike operates in the public space and its therefore that people can decide in the system, even if they don’t use the service. The people can decide on local level, how many bikes do you want in your neighbourhood? 

Despite all the effort, there are no intentions right now for further development of the concept. This due to a lack of investment and the use of an  unstable Ethereum currency for transactions. 

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