With the green revolution, it has actually become trendy to be environmentally conscious. In just about every Whole Foods Market in the U.S. you see fashion-conscious strolling around with their reusable, recycled bags and choosing fair trade instead of fair fur products. In Buenos Aires we see the same trend: try Palermo Hollywood?s Bonpland Market on Saturday afternoon to find a mercado full of organic breads, pasta, produce and clothes.
All of this seems relatively understandable. There?s a new initiative to confront global warming, and fashion is leading the way towards a more environmentally conscious world. However, one activist trend?s popularity might come as a surprise: the return of the bicycle. Green programs all over are promoting the use of the bicycle as an environmentally friendly way to get around, rather than the gas-guzzling cars we?ve become so accustomed to. Additionally, there?s the added benefit of exercise. But is this really something that can be turned into a trend?
Virtual design websites point to yes. One of our favorite websites, designboom, recently announced a competition in collaboration with Seoul Design Foundation to promote an international contest called the ?Seoul Cycle Design Competition 2010?. The South Korean city wants to redesign their urban environment to be more inline with the recent global green explosion. The city wishes to improve its brand and image, promoting a more modern and environmentally friendly approach to urbanism. Interestingly, the city is combining design and an international environmental awareness to achieve that end. Find more information on how you can enter the competition at: http://www.designboom.com/seoul_cycle_design_competition.html
Another favorite design website, Wallpaper*, also discusses the bike phenomena. The website recently published a short article about the craft of building hand-made bicycles, and offers coverage of ?Bespoke: The Handbuilt Bicycle? an exhibit currently at the Manhattan?s Museum of Arts and Design. The online magazine also boasts that they have three new, specially commissioned handbuilt bikes they will be presenting in their August issue. Read more about the museum and their project here: http://www.wallpaper.com/lifestyle/the-handbuilt-bicycle-museum-of-arts-and-design/4614
Paul Smith, legendary designer, has been on to the bicycle trend for quite some time now. He?s currently working in collaboration with a Danish charity project La Flamme Rouge to design bikes to auction off and raise money for the cause. Not to mention these aren?t your ordinary street bicycles. Smith describes in detail on a recent blog entry the components: made in Denmark by Principia, SRAM for breaks and gears, and the handlebars are FSA from Italy, to name a few. For more information visit the blog post: http://www.paulsmith.co.uk/paul-smith-blog/la-flamme-rouge,563,PBL.html
Buenos Aires also has the potential to make bikes trendy and promote a greener attitude through creative competitions that reinforce the city?s essence. Creative contests draw international attention to an urban image, reinforcing those associations. Even cities have a brand to create that is recognized on a global level. Brand essence is that image, but the key is to establish one with longevity and that has room to develop with the changing times. FORMA Cultural Branding helps companies to create lasting essence, as well as collaborates with the city of Buenos Aires to further develop the city?s international brand.