Every time we are in Milan, be it for the Design Week or simply to enjoy the city without the inconvenience of the Design Week, we invariably find ourselves strolling past the Rossignoli bicycle shop on the Corso Garibaldi. An emporium with a history stretching back to 1900, and which positively oozes such, the Rossignoli store has long fascinated us, long fired our imaginations, and yet remains an address we have somehow never managed to enter: this year the perfect excuse was delivered by students of the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, ABK, Stuttgart with their showcase Più di Pegoretti.
Realised in conjunction with the Verona based master bicycle constructor Dario Pegoretti, Più di Pegoretti saw students from Professor Uwe Fischer’s Industrial Design class and Professor Hans-Georg Pospischil’s communication design class develop 15 cycling related products, products which during Milan Design Week 2016 were presented in context of, and in the windows of, Rossignoli Milano.
As with all student projects the works realised represented a healthy mix of hit and miss, and also as ever with such student projects the end results are much less important than the way the individual students approached the brief, how they researched the subject and subsequently developed their idea into a product. And of course the experience of doing such.
Despite such considerations there was obviously one or the other product which particularly caught our attention, perhaps most notably, the handlebar bag by Louis Michel and Silvio Rebholz, the handlebar lock by Leonie Schimmeyer and Patrick Nagel and Marvin Unger’s Bike Stand, an object which brings a delightfully overblown aura of post-modern monumentalism to the simple, uninteresting, and thoroughly trivial process of storing your bike.
As older, more dedicated, readers will be aware, we don’t buy into cycling cult; a bike is neither fashion accessory nor trend. A bike is a mode of transport, and one that has not only been around for centuries but which has been democratising society for almost as long.
Thankfully that also appears to have been the way the ABK students approached the brief and thus the result is and was a collection of clothing and accessories which yes, while all aiming to be contemporary and to be objects cyclists would desire to own, were, or at least largely were, primarily about improving the cycling experience, be that through improved functionality, through the use of contemporary technology, or in the case of David Gebka and Freia Achenbach’s Wind Jacket through bringing a touch of humour and showmanship to the daily commute: and an object which magnificently takes the wind out of the cycling fetishists’ sails, “No”, it screams, “you don’t look cool. I do!!”
Full details on Più di Pegoretti and all the resulting projects can be found at: www.piudipegoretti.com/