The worker

Project by 
Sayme Choi,
Raphael Coutin 

March 2013

Eindhoven NL 

When I moved from Paris to Eindhoven, I left behind a decent job and car. While trading in these comforts for a life as a Masters' student in the Low Countries, I tried to make the best of new opportunities. For one, me and my bicycle quickly became good friends. Of course, to the average Dutch person, owning a bicycle does not hold many surprises. However, for me and Sayme Choi, a fellow student from Korea, the practical possibilities of a bicycle are nothing short of a small miracle. During a joint project we looked at the different bike sharing systems in various parts of the world. We discovered that these systems, while effective as a cheap and ecologically sound way of getting around, clearly had a few limitations. Bicycle use was only promoted as a means of moving oneself from A to B. At the same time, the effect of weather conditions was usually overlooked. (By now we had first hand experience of cycling in the rain and wind, or transporting awkward objects). We brought some playfulness into our proposed system, loosely based on the old arcade game PacMan, in which the player strives to earn as many 'Pac Dots' as possible.
Bad weather, in our system, is actually a bonus. (In our mobility diagram we have listed some rewards of collecting Pac Dots). But it all started out by rethinking the bicycle. Our model, "The Worker" is adapted for use by one or two people, and equipped to carry bags (with possibilities for handling a suit) and even to tug a skateboarder along. Through our research and design we have found additional ways of making use of the bicycle and by integrating it in a social reward system we concentrated on stimulating people to make a change, get on a bike and experience those benefits.