In cities worldwide, bicycling is an activity essential to modern life both for commuting and pleasure. Bicycles have improved in lightness, performance, and in many other ways since the 19th century. Bike share programs electric assist e-bikes have been growing in popularity. The bike seat too has evolved to serve many different riding styles from commuting to racing. Comfort and appearance have been widely advanced. Still, a wet bicycle seat is a common nuisance after a rain shower. Most seats which have leather, vinyl or other synthetic fabric covers gather or even attract water when it rains! The result is a soggy pair of trousers and a grumpy cyclist. Many cyclists address the problem with a sad work-around: an ugly plastic grocery bag tied around the seat to cover it. In some European countries removable seat caps do more elegantly what a plastic bag achieves in the USA. Nevertheless, wouldn’t it be better if bike seats simply repelled and shed rain water in the first place? What if rain simply beaded up on the seat and rolled off on its own?
Folium is a proposal for a new type of bicycle seat that sheds water after rainfall like the famous Lotus plant, Pitcher plant and some other species in the plant and animal kingdoms. While water-shedding hydrophobic surfaces like these have been a source of fascination to the Biomimicry community since the 1960s, manufacturing limitations have prevented them from being industrially reproduced. Some chemical coating treatments have been developed, but these wear off and contain toxic chemistries that make their way into the watershed. A well-publicized exception has been STO’s Lotusan paint whose costs amongst other issues have prevented its widespread adoption. Plants like Lotus leaves have micro architectural textures, invisible to the eye which repel water by reducing the contact angle of water droplets, causing them to slide off. Such hydrophobic and self cleaning properties could have broad application in design, from packaged goods to consumer products and architecture. Some enabling technologies are only now becoming commercially viable.
As an Industrial Designer I have been engaged with FLEXcon which has pioneered a textile film manufacturing process that can engrave simulated Lotus leaf micro texture into a flat roll of material. They are also responsible for creating Sharklet which simulates another Biomimetic micro texture that is antimicrobial and useful to hospitals and pharmacies. Bicycle seats and other products have yet to adopt this technology. Most bike seat surfaces use leather, vinyl or polyester materials to cover a seat frame with or without foam. Folium would substitute the cover material with an engraved micro texture alternative that would be durable, look as appealing and feel as comfortable.
Currently Folium is being prototyped and shows great promise to improve the quality of life and health of cyclists and our planet. Often Biomimetic design struggles to translate natural phenomenon into practical day-to-day solutions and we believe Folium is a rare and tangible opportunity to do so.
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Eleven's competitions are the ideal arena for generating pro-active international think-tanks in a whole variety of contemporary hot topics and contexts: from social issues to environmental threats, new technologies, shifting urban landscapes, exotic ecological havens, product design, fashion and - why not - even outer space!
We love competitions because they are instrumental in highlighting emerging talent and starting design-led revolutions around the world.
Our challenges have had exhibitions in Europe and the USA, published in multiple international magazines such as the Architecture Review, the AJ, Dezeen, Archdaily and Designboom, and consistently win awards year after year.
AWARDS & ACHIEVEMENTS:
2015 - Our inaugural competition 'Cambodia' wins the 3rd place in Bustler’s ‘Top-10 Best Competitions of the Year' Awards, and Eleven is officially in business.
2016 - 'Moontopia' is featured as 7th in Bustler’s ‘Top-10 Best Competitions of the Year' Awards.
2017 - Eleven becomes the most popular competition portal in the world with a double-whammy placement two competitions - 'Rome' (winning 3rd place) and 'Planetarium' (arriving in 5th place) - being featured in the top-5 places in Bustler’s ‘Top-10 Best Competitions of the Year' Awards.2018 - Watch this space...
Andrew Maynard (Andrew Maynard Architects), Arthur Andersson (Andersson-Wise), Camillo Boano (The Bartlett, UCL), Christine Murray (Editor in Chief, Architectural Review), Elena Douvlou (Metropolitan University of Athens), Ingrid Bille (BilleByeSheid), Massimo Forese (+39 Architects), Mathilde Marengo (IAAC, Barcelona), Perry Hopper (Grimshaw), Shaun O'Rourke (BAC), Tom Kundig (Olson Kundig), Andrea Verenini (Editor, Eleven).
* This event was run in support of the Angkor Hospital for Children (AHC) charity.
Amy Frearson (Deputy Editor of Architecture, Dezeen), The Buckminster Fuller Institute (BFI), Carlos Arnaiz (CAZA), Chris White (BIG), Hasdai Westbrook (Editor, Impact Design Hub), John Barton (Dean of Architecture, Stanford University), Jonny McKenna (Metropolitan Workshop), Karen Nelson (Dean, BAC), Leon Roast (BIG), Lewis Knight (Gensler), Kristi Loui (Gensler), Matthew Mazzotta (MIT), NAP+P Architects (Winner of Cambodia 2015: consisting of members Natthapol Pongplanchai, Planin Chantalert, Porncharoen Orbanratmanee, Pratchaya Lertruck Sadee), Roger Hawkins (Hawkins/Brown), Trent Tesch (KPF), Andrea Verenini (Founder, Eleven).
* This event was run in support of the Project Night Night charity.
ASPECT Studios (Winners of San Francisco 2016), Alberto Villanueva Galindo (IDEA Architecture Office), The Buckminster Fuller Institute (BFI), Brent Sherwood (NASA), Christina Ciardullo (Carnegie Mellon University), Kriss J. Kennedy (NASA), Andrea Verenini (Founder, Eleven).
Alexander Walter (Editor, Archinect & Bustler), Jan Utzon (Utzon Associates Architects), Richard James MacCowan (Biomimicry Institute UK), Timothy McGee (LikoLab), Yaniv Peer (Exploration Architecture), Marko Brajovic (Atelier Marko Brajovic), Andrea Verenini (Founder, Eleven).
Patrik Schumacher (Director, Zaha Hadid Architects), Francesco Gatti (3Gatti), Francesco Lipari (OFL Architecture / Cityvision Magazine), Emanuel Jalbert (In Situ), Lorenzo Catena, Onorato di Manno and Andrea Tanci (SET Architects), Eloise Carr (Editor & Creative, Eleven), Andrea Verenini (Founder, Eleven).
Christina Ciardullo (Architectural Designer and Educator), Thomas Wang (Partner, Ennead Architects), Lars Lindberg Christensen (Head of Education and Public Outreach, ESO), Dan Goods (Artist in Residence, NASA JPL), Eric Hanson (Founder and Partner, xRez Studio), Jim Sweitzer (Astrophysicist and Museum Consultant), Stephen Dubois (Secretary, Middle Atlantic Planetarium Society), Charles Beichman (Executive Director, NASA Exoplanet Science Institute, Caltech / NASA JPL), Dennis Cohen (Creative Director and Experience Designer, Ralph Applebaum Associates), Eloise Carr (Editor & Creative, Eleven), Andrea Verenini (Founder, Eleven).
* This event was run in partnership with Christina Ciardullo and sponsored by the Middle Atlantic Planetarium Society (MAPS).
Abeer Seikaly (Architect & Cultural Designer), Narinder Sagoo (Partner, Fosters + Partners), Hakan Gürsu (Founder & CEO, Designnobis), Amro Callam (Executive Director, Architecture for Society), Karina Ashrapova (Winner, Eleven's Biomimicry Competition), Eloise Carr (Editor & Creative, Eleven) Andrea Verenini (Founder, Eleven).
* Poster graphics designed by Concept BRE.
Beks Ndlovu (CEO, African Bush Camps), Derek Solomon (Animal Behaviour and Communication Specialist/Author/Private Guide), Rob Janisch (Biomimicry and Genius of Nature Guru/Private Guide), Chris Browne (Owner, Fox Browne Creatives), Debra Fox (Owner, Fox Browne Creatives), Charlene Hewat (CEO, Environment Africa), Eloise Carr (Editor & Creative, Eleven), Andrea Verenini (Founder, Eleven).
* This event was run in partnership with African Bush Camps and also in support of their charity African Bush Camp Foundation.
Andrew Aldrin (Son of legendary astronaut Buzz Aldrin and Director of the Buzz Aldrin Space Institute), Alberto Villanueva Galindo (Architect and Academic, IDEA Architecture Office), Jessie Andjelic (Founding Partner of SPECTACLE and Head of Mars Studio at the University of Calgary), Marc Guberman (Team Leader of the Mars Habitat Project and Partner at Fosters + Partners), Stefano Boeri (Founding Partner, Stefano Boeri Architetti), SEArch Architects (Awarded first place in NASA’s 3D Printed Mars Habitat Challange), Vera Mulyani (CEO and Founder, Mars City Design), ZA Architects (Directors and Co-Founders Dmitry Zhuikov and Arina Agieieva), Monika Lipinska, Laura Olivier and Inci Ogun (Winners of Eleven's Moontopia Competition), Eloise Carr (Editor & Creative, Eleven), Andrea Verenini (Founder, Eleven).
* Competition friend: Mars City Design
Adam Vickers (Managing Director of Squareyard Landscape Architecture), Wayne Hemingway (Chairman at CABE and Founder of Hemingway Design), Max Farrell (Senior Partner at Farrells), Lisa Kinch (Associate Architect at Farrells and Lecturer at Manchester School of Architecture), Katy Lock (Policy Manager at Garden Cities and New Towns, Town and Country Planning Association), Steve Sheen (Housing Strategy and Partnerships Manager at Manchester City Council), Andrea Verenini (Founder, Eleven).
* This event is run in partnership with BETA Events, sponsored by Square Yard, and is part of the event BETA Housing 2018 (12 July, Manchester, UK).Malecon (Havana) Jury Team:
Peter Noever (Professor, Principle at No/Ever Design and original member of the 'Havana Project'), Wolf D. Prix (Professor, Principle/CEO at COOP HIMMELB(L)AU and original member of the 'Havana Project'), Theodore Hoerr (Founding Principal, Terrain Work), Paul Bulkeley (Design Director, Snug Architects), Carl Prusha (Professor, Director at CP Architects and original member of the 'Havana Project'), Carlos Arnaiz (Founding Partner, CAZA), Eloise Carr (Editor & Creative, Eleven), Andrea Verenini (Founder, Eleven).
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