Thursday, March 9, 2017

Engineering A New Bike: Malmo Mia!

What an amazing day! So much to tell, so little time.

We met with Hovding in first thing in the morning. This company has created an invisible bike helmet. It's essentially an airbag for cyclists. It took 6 years and $20 million to bring it to market. We were one of the first to hear that they had just sold 50,000 units.

After a long walk through Malmo, we visited the Bike and Ride garage, a public bike garage next to the train station where commuters can park their bikes. This was also home to the Movebybike company, a local a transport business that is replacing loreys, small moving trucks, in the city of Malmo. There customized, electrically assisted bikes can move 2 pallets and up to 300kg of material.

We then went to the first apartment house in Sweden, maybe even the world, designed solely for residents without cars. No new parking was made available with this building. The money saved on that end of the project has gone towards creating a bike share program and giving all residents credit towards riding city transportation. You can even ride your cargo bike to your refrigerator on the 5th floor of the building. And you can park your bike right outside your window.

Sounds like a busy day, but that was all before lunch! Speaking of lunch, we ate a brand new food court that offers all sorts of cultural foods. We took a much needed rest post lunch before diving into unpackaging our experiences from the morning.

The students practiced their recently acquired design thinking skills through a variety of exercises in order to develop the direction of the project. This is a truly amazing group of students. After hours of this process, many chose to continue the conversation (their idea!) at a local coffee shop instead of taking another break before dinner. Dinner, by the way, was authentic Swedish Meatballs at a well established pub in Malmo. Excellent!

So much to write about and so little time! Check back later for updates and pictures.

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