Eric Tan, AIA; Leon Lai; Nico Schlapps
Bikecropolis visualizes how public spaces can be used to facilitate the increased use of alternative transportation.
Bikecropolis is a co-operative machine for civic engagement, transforming public space into domains of instant democratic gatherings, speeches, protests, and parties. Vehicles are customized to convert streets and in-between spaces into instant civic thresholds, colonizing what was meant for cars into dedicated spaces for people. Inspired by the individual experience of movement through the city as well as the collective empowerment of impromptu gatherings, Bikecropolis is an urban campaign that forms a symbiotic relationship with the city and its residents, harnessing everyday mobility into a force of emancipation and democratic expression.
Designed as a kit-of-parts, Bikecropolis builds upon the everyday pleasures of moving the city and momentarily focuses the disparate voices into concentrated spaces of speech and performance. Each cargo bike is paired with a customized trailer unit which contains all the parts necessary to set up the space as well as outdoor furnishing. The design is easy to set up; first, a set of eight prefabricated steel poles are connected to form a circular "shower rod" that holds up a PVC curtain. The fully connected ring is then hoisted to a height of nine feet with a telescoping tube to provide stability. The final result is an instant pavilion large enough to fit fifteen people. Hack-able and scale-able, more than one bike can be parked next to one another and combined to form an even larger space. Space is valued and created based on the sheet number of participating bikes.