Size Matters. Looks Closely. PUBLIC WORKS.

October 2nd, 2012

We’ve just introduced a series of twenty-seven original posters by a stunning group of designers.  These posters are exceptional for a number of reasons, and worth viewing in person if you can in San Francisco from October 9-11 and in New York on October 18-25. The large-scale 40 x 60 prints on canvas (Michael Mabry’s… Read more »

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Michael Mabry

We’ve just introduced a series of twenty-seven original posters by a stunning group of designers.  These posters are exceptional for a number of reasons, and worth viewing in person if you can in San Francisco from October 9-11 and in New York on October 18-25. The large-scale 40 x 60 prints on canvas (Michael Mabry’s shown above) are commanding in presence and also in detail. Each poster tells a special story.  I’ll highlight two contrasting works from Bay Area designers who will be in hand for our October 9th launch at CCA next week: Michael Schwab and Jeremy Mende.


Michael Schwab is a well-known Bay Area designer. His works for the Golden Gate National Recreational area have become iconic. He enjoys working with saturated colors and plays on positive and negative space, often reducing the imagery to simple dramatic abstractions. He’s also a bike aficionado who lives and rides in the “public” hills and spaces of Marin County. He adores the bike as an object, and approaches it from a personal perspective in his piece, capturing the bike from an angle of worship, putting it on a pedestal aesthetically, reducing it to its essence, but asking us to look differently at the form. When was the last time you saw a monochromatic blue bike in a sea of black? Good designers play tricks on us.


Jeremy Mende takes another approach to his notion of “public”, an entirely different aesthetic perspective. Maybe the only element he shares with Schwab is his use of blue.  But Mende lives and works in urban San Francisco, and his influences come from bike scenes on the streets of his city. He has depicted five typical local urban scenarios, a romantic park scene, and a bicyclist getting smacked by a car door, a mom riding with her child, a bike accident and a ghost bike. Much of the imagery is quite violent actually, but Mende had disguised this in a decorative sweet blue and white palette like something you might find on Victorian china or wallpaper at the Ritz.  Good designers can be cleverly subversive.  You have to see this piece in its oversized version and up close in-detail to appreciate it fully.

Several other Bay Area designers will be on hand at our opening event next week, each with works as unique and personal and Schwab’s and Mende. Kit Hinrichs, Michael Mabry, Jennifer Morla, Jason Munn, Jason Schulte, Michael Vanderbyl. Each designer has created a piece as unique and personal as Schwab’s and Mende, and we’ll doing features on each designer later. But look at these closely at these works, you will certainly find something that resonates with your sensibility. If you need a major wake up call or inspiration in your home or office, consider a 40 x 60 version for $350.  For more modest budgets and spaces, we have 20 x 30 sizes available for $50 (unframed) and $250 (framed).  And we’ll be offering t-shirts and other PUBLIC WORKS products in the near future.

And RSVP here for our event next week.

PUBLIC WORKS: Designers Save Cities

September 25th, 2012

We are launching PUBLIC WORKS this week.  We invited twenty-seven world renowned designers to interpret the concept of “public” with a vision to improve our cities and how the bicycle can play a part.  The launch begins with exhibitions of twenty-seven large-scale posters in San Francisco at California College of the Arts (October 9th –… Read more »

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We are launching PUBLIC WORKS this week.  We invited twenty-seven world renowned designers to interpret the concept of “public” with a vision to improve our cities and how the bicycle can play a part.  The launch begins with exhibitions of twenty-seven large-scale posters in San Francisco at California College of the Arts (October 9th – 11th) and in New York at the FLOS Gallery (October 18th – 25th).  All these posters can be viewed and purchased online and through our stores now, and we will have a book, t-shirts, and other products available shortly.

The impetus for PUBLIC WORKS is to bring greater attention to the critical issues of public space, access, and livability of our cities. If anyone doubts that designers can greatly improve our public world, one only needs to look at the impact that Milton Glaser’s iconic I heart New York logo and slogan had on New York.  Glaser came up with this logo in 1977, a time when New York was struggling financially and culturally. Crime and crack dealers were rampant in all neighborhoods. Subways had become unsafe and The Federal Government was unwilling to help out. President Ford made headlines in the New York Daily News and the infamous headline “ Ford to New York: Drop Dead”.

What to do? Rudy Giuliani had one solution- come down hard on crime. Milton Glaser had another – create love for the city. He created his logo pro bono because he cared so much for the city and because he is an extraordinary public citizen.  Such an act of generosity – the logo inspired a song and seeded a million other derivative marketing efforts around the world.  It may be the greatest piece of public design and the most influential modern logo ever created. And the logo just gets better over time.

We can’t expect Milton’s poster for PUBLIC, nor the other twenty six PUBLIC WORKS and designers to have the same impact, but these works will bring attention to many of the key issues for our cities and our public world that are often overlooked, taken for granted, and even contested. We are in a period when Federal funding for cities, like national health care and public education are suffering from a lack of federal support.  We realize this everyday when we ride smack into a pothole or walk for blocks to find a safe bike rack.

Check out the WORKS from this talented group of designers.  If you would like to have this exhibition in your community or workplace let us know.

 

PUBLIC WORKS @ FLOS in NYC

September 25th, 2012

PUBLIC WORKS kicks off in New York City at FLOS from October 18th – October 25th. Bike over and join us. By invite only – please email courtney@bdeonline.biz. PUBLIC, a San Francisco based bicycle company with a mission to improve the quality and character of our cities and public places announces PUBLIC WORKS. We invited a… Read more »

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PUBLIC WORKS kicks off in New York City at FLOS from October 18th – October 25th. Bike over and join us. By invite only – please email courtney@bdeonline.biz.

PUBLIC, a San Francisco based bicycle company with a mission to improve the quality and character of our cities and public places announces PUBLIC WORKS. We invited a group of world-renowned designers to interpret the concept of “public” in their own voice and style, to play with the word itself if they desired, and to design large scale posters around these ideas.

JOIN US FOR THE OPENING PARTY

When: October 18th from 6:00 – 8:00 pm

Where: FLOS in SoHo (152 Greene Street)

What: Design Exhibition, Spirits, Free Bike Valet Parking

BONUS: First 20 guests receive a free PUBLIC WORKS Book.

PUBLIC WORKS posters (20×30 and 40×60) a booklet, and t-shirts will be available for sale at the show, and many of the designers will be available to sign their poster. A percentage of the proceeds will be donated to the Transportation Alternatives. Free bike valet parking.

More information here.

 

PUBLIC WORKS Exhibition @ CCA

September 25th, 2012

PUBLIC WORKS debuts at California College of the Arts (CCA) from October 9th – October 11th. Bike over and join us. Please RSVP. PUBLIC, a San Francisco based bicycle company with a mission to improve the quality and character of our cities and public places announces PUBLIC WORKS. We invited a group of world-renowned designers to interpret… Read more »

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PUBLIC WORKS debuts at California College of the Arts (CCA) from October 9th – October 11th. Bike over and join us. Please RSVP.

PUBLIC, a San Francisco based bicycle company with a mission to improve the quality and character of our cities and public places announces PUBLIC WORKS. We invited a group of world-renowned designers to interpret the concept of “public” in their own voice and style, to play with the word itself if they desired, and to design large scale posters around these ideas.

JOIN US FOR THE OPENING PARTY

When: October 9th from 6:00 – 8:00 pm

Where: California College of the Arts (350 Kansas Street)

What: Design Exhibition, Spirits, Free Bike Valet Parking

BONUS: First 20 guests receive a free PUBLIC WORKS Book.

PUBLIC WORKS posters (20×30 and 40×60) a booklet, and t-shirts will be available for sale at the show, and many of the designers will be available to sign their poster. A percentage of the proceeds will be donated to the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. Free bike valet parking.

More information here.

 

“Lighter Than Air” PARK(ing) Day on Fri, Sept 21

September 13th, 2012

PARK(ing) Day, we’re presenting “Lighter than Air” – an installation of colorful tall-tube balloons, inflatable balls, and a “flying bicycle.” We’re taking over a few parking spots in front of 599 Valencia @ 17th. Riding a bicycle is the closest many of us will feel to flying so we’re creating a whimsical bicycle-themed space where… Read more »

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PARK(ing) Day is one of our favorite “events” of the year with dozens and dozens of groups reclaiming parking spots throughout the Bay Area and repurposing them into temporary community-oriented public spaces. PARK(ing) Day is now a worldwide activity with people participating in cities around the world.

As part of PARK(ing) Day, we’re presenting “Lighter than Air” – an installation of colorful tall-tube balloons, inflatable balls, and a “flying bicycle.” We’re taking over a few parking spots in front of 599 Valencia @ 17th.

Riding a bicycle is the closest many of us will feel to flying so we’re creating a whimsical bicycle-themed space where everyone can sit, eat, and play.

INTERSTICE Architects and PUBLIC has developed the design concept. Harrington Galleries will provide the furniture to enjoy your dining and lounging experience.

Come enjoy free tastings of Malyasian street food from mamakSF, drinks, and other snacks.

COLLABORATING PARTNERS

PUBLIC
INTERSTICE Architects
Harrington Galleries
mamakSF

Share this Facebook event page with your friends.

Bikes (and the US Pavilion) Win in Venice

September 12th, 2012

Venice, Italy is not known for bikes. In fact, bikes are banned in town unless you are four years old or younger.  In Venice you either walk or take your choice of water vehicle, and it makes sense.  But this month bikes were given center stage in Venice at two venues: 1) The  Peggy Guggenheim… Read more »

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Bikes in Venice Italy Spontaneous Interventions Spontaneous Interventions Spontaneous Interventions Spontaneous Interventions Spontaneous Interventions

Venice, Italy is not known for bikes. In fact, bikes are banned in town unless you are four years old or younger.  In Venice you either walk or take your choice of water vehicle, and it makes sense.  But this month bikes were given center stage in Venice at two venues: 1) The  Peggy Guggenheim Museum with the Cycling, Cubo-Futurism, and the Fourth Dimension show featuring Jean Metzinger’s At the Cycle-Race Track (Au Vélodrome) and 2) the Biennale for Architecture show Common Ground. The Biennale for Architecture is the pre-eminent international event for architecture, somewhat like the Olympics. Fifty-five countries around the globe host pavilions with concepts that define the important issues in architecture today.

We went to Venice specifically for the Biennale as our friend and colleague Cathy Ho was the Commissioner and Curator for the US Pavilion titled Spontaneous Interventions: Design Actions for the Common Good. Also the Biennale promised to be especially relevant to PUBLIC as the overarching “Common Ground” theme dealt heavily with shared public space and its value and meaning. Today Michael Kimmelman reviewed the show in the New York Times “Projects Without Architecture Steal the Show” and singled out the US Pavilion as one of the highlights.

The provocative US theme “Spontaneous Interventions” focused on architecture and designs that come into existence by circumventing traditional planning processes and include such things as Edible Schoolyards, Post Furniture, Streetfilms, Yarnbombing, and over 150 case studies with clever analog “pull down menus”. The floor of the pavilion had a zillion quotes and factoids that covered developments from cases that range in scope and timing from 7000 BC until today. Did you know that the term “Urban design” was first used at Harvard University in 1956? Romp through their website to appreciate the rich resource of information.

The US Pavilion was among a select group of countries to be acknowledged by the jurors for special recognition. This is no small feat at the Biennale. This marks the first award the US has won at this prestigious show that dates back to 1985. That’s right.  In over 25 years the US has never been given an award. The other award winners included Japan and Russia.

The importance and value of bikes in the city was featured as prominently as any other urban “intervention”. The bike interventions showcased ranged from guerilla bike paths in Los Angeles, to ghost bikes in New York, to unique bike lighting systems, and to bike share programs in Washington DC and New York. From the clever timeline of the floor of the pavilion it became obvious that bikes have played an important role in our cities and urban lives since the 19th century. At first bikes were used to help people escape from industrial cities to the country. Now that cites have become cultural centers they serve the opposite purpose – they help us connect more closely with cities.

There are numerous reasons why the US Pavilion received the honors. At the top might be the relevance of the concept itself. They also made this comprehensive amount of information palatable, educational, sexy and clever. The exhibition was low on ego and high on purpose, the polar extreme from star architecture.

Cathy Ho selected a curatorial “dream team” that  included Paola Antonelli (MoMA), Dave van der Leer (Guggenheim), Ned Kramer (Architect Magazine), Anne Guiney (Urban Design), Michael Sorkin (Terreform), and Zoe Ryan (Art Institute of Chicago). The exhibition design was done by Freecell and Erik Adigard and Patricia McShane of M-A-D. The US Pavilion was something of a Spontaneous Intervention itself, done in a short amount of time on a shoestring budget with many interns yet pulled off so well that viewers would never have known these restraints. It came across like something a professional, well-seasoned team would do. Kudos to the US team.

Again check out the website. Or better yet, go to Venice and see the show. It’s open until November. But leave your bike at home.

 

PUBLIC Featured In 100 BEST BIKES

September 11th, 2012

From Inn at the Presidio on Sunday, Sept. 30th from 2-4 PM. Enjoy a glass of wine, peruse a copy of the book, and drop a business card into the fish bowl for the chance to win a FREE Biomega Boston style collapsible bike. This event is free and open to the public. Zahid Sardar… Read more »

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From Laurence King Publishing, 100 BEST BIKES is a new book by Zahid Sardar that features the latest and finest in bicycle design and engineering. PUBLIC is featured in the book in the City/Utility bike category.

Meet author and design expert Zahid Sardar at the Inn at the Presidio on Sunday, Sept. 30th from 2-4 PM. Enjoy a glass of wine, peruse a copy of the book, and drop a business card into the fish bowl for the chance to win a FREE Biomega Boston style collapsible bike. This event is free and open to the public.

Zahid Sardar is the former design editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, Zahid Sardar continues to write for the Chronicle as well as for Dwell and other design publications. He has also written for Metropolis, Architecture, Interior Design and Surface magazines. His books include New Garden Design (2008) and San Francisco Modern (1998). He is an avid cyclist, navigating the hills of San Francisco on his 10-speed Motobecane Mirage.

According to Sardar and Laurence King Publishing: “These are the best bikes to be found anywhere right now, giving every kind of cyclist an overview of what is out there. Whether a BMXtreme or mountain bike enthusiast, a keen tourer or racer, a city commuter or courier, or simply fascinated with the constantly advancing mechanics and engineering of folding and other innovative bike designs, this book has something for you. The bikes on display come from across Europe, East and South Asia and North America, not to mention examples from the southern hemisphere. The major bike manufacturers like Boardman, Giant and Fuji are of course featured, but also more maverick material from Biomega, Calfee and Daymak. 100 Best Bikes is the essential resource for anyone wanting to know about the best in design and engineering for every kind of bike.”

You can share this event on Facebook too.

PUBLIC Women’s Bike Clinic on Sept 13

August 30th, 2012

Back by popular demand, we’re organizing another Women’s Bike Clinic – but in Oakland! In 1-hour PUBLIC employee Jillian Betterly will teach you the basic mechanics of a bike. The purpose of this clinic is to help you understand basic mechanics of a bike with special emphasis on our PUBLIC bikes. Learn how your gearing… Read more »

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Back by popular demand, we’re organizing another Women’s Bike Clinic – but in Oakland!

In 1-hour PUBLIC employee Jillian Betterly will teach you the basic mechanics of a bike. The purpose of this clinic is to help you understand basic mechanics of a bike with special emphasis on our PUBLIC bikes. Learn how your gearing works, how to change a flat, best ways to lock your bike, and basic troubleshooting of brakes, chain and shifters. After the 1-hour workshop, stay longer for Q&A. It’s optional to bring your PUBLIC bike or your own bike. Jillian will spend the hour doing a demo on a PUBLIC bike & then can spend some time after the Q&A helping individuals with their bikes.

Thursday, September 13 (OPEN)
6:30-8pm
205 Alice Street @ 2nd near Jack London Square

This free clinic is limited to 25 women participants. Please send email to rsvp@publicbikes.com to reserve your spot.

If you cannot attend, sign up for our newsletter to hear about future clinics.

Ride a Bike, Write a Poem, Win Prizes

July 24th, 2012

What do riding bikes and writing poetry have in common?  Not much and everything. They both can be a lot of fun. They both can ask you to look at the world a little differently. They both inspire you to take a different route just for pleasure. Haiku poetry and bikes are an especially good… Read more »

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What do riding bikes and writing poetry have in common?  Not much and everything. They both can be a lot of fun. They both can ask you to look at the world a little differently. They both inspire you to take a different route just for pleasure. Haiku poetry and bikes are an especially good pairing because they are both about economy and simplicity. They both can get us to pay attention and to smile a little more.

We teamed up with our pals at Good Vibrations for a Haiku Contest with the theme of  “put something exciting between your legs”. Give it a twirl. Prizes range from PUBLIC goods and gift certificates to Good Vibrations goodie bags of mixed delights. Submit entries between July 24 and August 20. If you are in SF come to the Party on August 23 at our Mission District store (599 Valencia) from 5:30 – 6:30 pm. After partying at our store we’ll move down the street to Good Vibrations (603 Valencia) to hear Sexologist Dr. Carol Queen will give an educational and inspirational tour of the store.

SUBMIT A HAIKU

What is a haiku?
Formally the haiku must use exactly 17 syllables arranged in three lines of 5, 7 and 5 syllables, like this:

World is vast and wide.
So much out there to explore.
Right now, let’s eat lunch.

There are some famous traditional ones from Japan where the genre began:

No one travels
Along this way but I,
This autumn evening.
By Matsuo Basho

A sudden shower falls –
and naked I am riding
on a naked horse!
By Kobayashi Issa

And some famous modern ones like this from Ezra Pound, IN A STATION OF THE METRO that many of us studied in high school.

The apparition of these faces in the crowd:
Petals on a wet, black bough.

Apparently he took some liberties with the haiku form. We encourage you to do the same and join us in the contest.  See more details or spread the word to your friends about our Haiku Contest via Facebook.

 

Project Kickstand – Clif Bar’s 20th Anniversary

July 3rd, 2012

What’s the coolest thing a company can do for its employees? Often companies recognize hard working employees with monthly awards or free parking spaces. Other companies provide free lunches, extra days of vacation, or casual Fridays. Bay Area company Clif Bar took it up a big notch. They gave ALL of their employees a free… Read more »

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What’s the coolest thing a company can do for its employees? Often companies recognize hard working employees with monthly awards or free parking spaces. Other companies provide free lunches, extra days of vacation, or casual Fridays. Bay Area company Clif Bar took it up a big notch. They gave ALL of their employees a free custom bike inscribed with the individual’s name and the date they started working for the company. It was one of the greatest acts of corporate generosity for employees we have heard of and PUBLIC was proud to play a part.

Last December we started working on a special project called “Project Kickstand” for our friends at Clif Bar. Clif Bar Co-CEOs Gary Erickson and Kit Crawford wanted to surprise each of their 300+ employees with a custom PUBLIC bike as part of the company’s 20th Anniversary.

See more photos in our Clif Bar 20th Anniversary Facebook album.

Clif Bar PUBLIC Bike Clif Bar PUBLIC Bike Clif Bar PUBLIC Bike Clif Bar PUBLIC Bike

We took our PUBLIC V3 and painted it Clif Bar red with matching rims and rear racks, and added a Clif Bar logo head badge and message “Born on a Bike – Kitchen Crafted – Family & Employee Owned” on the frame. Each bike has a custom decal with the employee’s name and year they started working at Clif Bar.

Our PUBLIC team secretly delivered these bikes to a warehouse next to Clif Bar’s Emeryville headquarters. It was our privilege to bear witness to the surprise. Gary and Kit led the hundreds of employees around the block to the secret warehouse. After the doors opened, they invited their employees to a find a custom-made bike with their name on it.

As you can imagine, the scene was utter disbelief, joy, giddiness, and many tears. A Clif Bar employee captured raw footage of the experience.

We’re very proud (thrilled) to have produced and delivered these bikes for Clif Bar, a company  that we’ve long admired for putting community, people, and sustainability at the forefront of building a successful business.

Congratulations Gary, Kit, and the entire Clif Bar family.

We’re proud to add Clif Bar to our growing list of companies that have provided PUBLIC bikes for employees to use, including Williams-Sonoma, Mozilla, Square, AOL, PeopleBrowsr, Rackspace, and others.