Six years ago, industrial designer Sam Pearce was sitting in an airport when “I saw a mother pushing her child in a buggy,” he writes. “The front wheel hit a slight kerb [sic] and the child jolted forward because of the impact. It happened several times in the time I was waiting there.” He then did what many ID’ers do, which is to find the nearest piece of paper and sketch out a potential solution. What he drew in his notebook was this:
A simple idea for a wheel with built-in suspension.
Two years later, while off-road cycling, he remembered the sketch and began thinking if a suspension system like that could be built into a bike wheel. Now, many years of tinkering later, what Pearce has come up with is this:
It’s called the Loopwheel, and its system of “tangential suspension”—essentially leaf springs folded back in on themselves—are not only workable, but they provide a gentler ride over sharp obstacles due to physics:
For now, Pearce is focusing on developing Loopwheels for smaller bikes, because the design “[allows] suspension where suspension can’t normally fit,” as with a folding bike design.
Last month Pearce debuted his creation at the UK’s Bespoked Bicycle show. Response was tremendous, and he’s now seeking Kickstarter funding to get the Loopwheel into proper production; up until now he’s been making them as one-offs in his shop.
Tokyo is futuristic, but maybe not this futuristic… yet.
I spent a little time in and around Roppongi neighborhood during my first trip to Tokyo last June, but (as is the case with most work-related travel), I didn’t have much time to explore the city on my own. Given the diverse texture of the city and the overflowing stimuli of a new and different urban setting, it didn’t occur to me that Roppongi Hills is a relatively new construction, some $4 billion and three years in the making. Centered on the 54-story, Kohn Pedersen Fox-design Mori Tower—named after the developer behind the entire project—the 27-acre megaplex opened its doors in April 2003… which means that this week marks its tenth anniversary.
To commemorate the milestone, Mori Building Co., Ltd., has commissioned Creative Director Tsubasa Oyagi to create a digital experience, the very first project for his new boutique SIX. Working with a team of media production all-stars, Oyagi created “TOKYO CITY SYMPHONY,” an interactive web app that combines projection mapping with a simple music composition engine to create user-generated ditties with brilliant visuals.
“TOKYO CITY SYMPHONY” is an interactive website, in which users can experience playing with 3D projection mapping on a 1:1000 miniature model of the city of Tokyo. The handcrafted model is an exact replica of the cityscape of Tokyo in every detail.
Three visual motifs are projected onto the city in sync with music: “FUTURE CITY,” conjuring futuristic images; “ROCK CITY” that playfully transforms Roppongi Hills into colorful musical instruments and monsters; and “EDO CITY,” or “Traditional Tokyo,” which portrays beautiful Japanese images. Users could play a complex, yet exquisitely beautiful harmony on the city by pressing the keys on the computer keyboard. Each key plays a different beat along with various visual motifs, creating over one hundred different sound and visual combinations. Each user is assigned a symphony score of eight seconds, of which could be shared via Facebook, twitter, and Google+. The numerous symphony scores submitted by the users are put together online to create an infinite symphony.