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Industrial Design Students Win Bay Area Bike Corral Contest

Riding your bike to the big event is the sustainable choice. But excitement can turn to disappointment if all the spots to lock up your ride are taken. In a competition to design a portable bike corral for San Francisco’s Yerba Buena neighborhood, four of the five finalist designs, including the winner, were created by Academy of Art University students.


In a biking-obsessed urban community like the Bay Area, spots to secure a bicycle are at a premium, especially when community events draw big crowds. The Yerba Buena Community Benefit District and the San Francisco Planning Department sought to address the shortage by creating a competition to “meet the growing demand for bike parking at cultural and special events … and encourage even more people to use sustainable alternatives for transportation.”


The competition drew 35 entries from the Bay Area and around the world, including Spain, India, Slovenia and Iran. The challenge was to design asecure, easily compressed, visually appealing and easy to use portable bike storage that could be moved by one or two people and built for less than $10,000.


Pedulation, the winning entry from the Academy’s School of Industrial Design team which included students Jill McDonald, Marissa Gurevitz and Kevin Capo, incorporates a folding bicycle rack on recycled rubber casters.


“The process of creating it was intensely collaborative,” says Jill, a U.K. native interested in shoe design who also teaches yoga classes part-time at the Academy. “An important part of the design process is observation,” she continues, “and we spent time in the Yerba Buena area, observing the type of place it is, so we could reflect elements of the environment in the final corral.”


Describing those elements, Marissa says, “The design for each circle represents the park as well as the city of San Francisco. We felt that using aspects of the park and city would create a recognizable, iconic design.”


“Knowing it was going to be fabricated was a great motivator, as we really wanted to see our design come to life,” adds Jill.


The winning team receives a $500 award and will work with a fabricator to produce a prototype for use in the Yerba Buena neighborhood.


The other three finalist teams from the Academy’s School of Industrial Design program were:
• Stop-N-Lock (Tumbleweed): John McFaul, Deniz Becer, Soyoung Lee
• BAMdesign: Billy Wong, William (Andy) Hall, Manuel (Manu) Busto
• Park-Kit: Adamu (Adam) Chu, Heejin Eom, Jorge (George) Ibarra


Tom Matano, Academy of Art University Executive Director of the School of Industrial Design, acknowledged the students’ accomplishments. “We gave this competition as a short subject to two of our sophomore-level product design classes, Product Design 3 with Wayne Kasom and Product Design 4 with Agota Jonas as instructors. The students took up this challenge on top of their semester-long projects.”


“I am proud of what they came up with in a couple of weeks for these great results. It shows our program’s strength,” said Matano, noting that the Academy’s School of Industrial Design recently was ranked fourth amongst the best product design schools in Europe and Americas in the prestigious Red Dot Design awards.

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