I am enjoying one last flurry of blog posts before, my dears, I must knuckle down to some serious writing. Yes, a wonderful book on the bike/building nexus I promise unto you all—although architecture books, I must apologize, typically cost many squllions of bucks. As much as Brooks saddles. If they could be attached to seat poles, you might see the value.
However, before I go quiet on you all for a while, it is time I addressed the natural affinity I see, between architecture and bicycles. Architects don’t make much money, and what little they do make they spend on overpriced books; so there is one obvious reason why so many cycle. They is poor my loves. Thus, when they design bicycles, they do so with the aim of getting them into stores for under $35. Case in point: architect Andrew Maynard’s OLC Bike. Only an architect would think of designing a bike to sell in flat packs at Aldi.
Architects too, tend to be zealots. They will design houses for themselves with no curtains, even if that forces their family to get dressed in cupboards. It is hardly surprising then, that their utopian dreaming about a better world, to be rammed down everyone’s necks, sees them personally walking the walk—or should I say "riding the ride".
Architects watch the horizon for trends. Oh they see a wave coming, cycling rates on the rise in trend setting cities like New York and London. And like me, many are gearing up, getting the right clothes, right bikes, ensuring they are seen as trend setters, not followers.
While on the topic, I must mention the rise of architecture-by-bicycle tours cropping up in cities all over the world—with buildings woth seeing, of course. Google them. These tours are everywhere. A few that stand out to my mind, are those ran in conjunction with the annual London Festival of Architecture. Leading architects get on their bikes to lead tours, via the quickest means to reach, stop at, and admire that city’s buildings. As an admirer of architecture myself, and of real estate too, I can identify. I found my present house cruising nice streets on my way home from a bike race ten years ago. The quiet streets one finds nauseating to tour in a car, are perfect for cycling.
Architects also love Holland, because Dutch society actively sponsors avant-garde art and architecture. Do you know, that after the artists Komar and Melamid phone polled Americans regarding their taste in art, they came up with the twee painting on the left, and later came up with the non-representational, expressionistic work on the right, when they repeated the experiment by phone polling the Dutch? Oh yeah baby, Holland is cool, and the Dutch cycle. You can’t hide that little fact from us architects.