Jens Martin SkibstedJens Martin Skibsted is a designer and founder of Biomega and KiBiSi. He works from Copenhagen.
I’ve always been into bikes as a means of transport. They are extremely effective – actually with a human the most effective means of biomechanical transport on this earth – more effective than an albatross, a dolphin, or a beetle to name a few random examples. Bikes are the solution to city center traffic today: Pollutionless, noiseless, fast and cheap.
I used to ride my bike every morning, but now I take the train as I live further away. Today, it is only the means of transport I use within Copenhagen from my office.
Passersby can rave about details. In the BOS bike case the wire for downtube, the foldable basket or the belt drive. The thing that generally impresses people the most outside of specific details is the level of detail. Normally when you look at catalogues bikes look great and ordinary in real life. For the Biomegas it’s the opposite. People are surprised by the craftsmanship. All Biomega designs are characteristic, functional and integrated to compete with cars. The BOS has an integrated lock. If the lock is cut it destroys the bike – so you can vandalize it, but not steal it successfully.
Should Danish biking culture be adopted by every country and city in the world? Yes and no. Yes, it would be better if all cars in cities were swapped for bikes. But the important part is not just to have a bike culture, but to have the adequate means of transport. For example, if it’s extremely hilly or the city sits on water, like in Venice, you need an alternative to bikes. Biking – like walking – is important to most cities, because they cater to the first and last mile – that no car or public transport can service.
Over 50% of emissions stem from consumption meaning we could stop global warming by no longer buying stuff. Obviously, our economy would then crumble. We need to make things that last long to consume less material goods – whether we share or keep them to ourselves. Recycling is only good if we can manage the energy expenditure connected with it. Objects also need to last long aesthetically otherwise we will lose them even if they last functionally.