Let us dispense with pretence. I am an academic, researching nexuses between cycling, architecture and urban design. I have a list of research questions it would take me ten lifetimes to answer, because there are so many. Is cycling something that is tacked on to visions for urban renewal, or would urban renewal not ahead, were it not for cycling? Are appearances true, is every architect under 40 a cyclist, and if so does that influence how they design? Is the bicycle taking the place of the chair, as a the architect’s made manifesto? Are principles and visual styles transferred back and forth between designers of buildings and designers of bikes? Why have traffic engineers been allowed to design bike infrastructure, when a bike network’s success depends more on delight than crude efficiencies? What does bike parking mean? What sort of building could be made in Taiwan, the way bicycles are? How can buildings be retrofitted for a bicycle borne population? How can green building certification systems be made to take account of users’ travel? How can streetscapes be re-conceptualised for the bike riding viewer, instead of the point of view of somebody walking? How do we design shared zones to please cyclists and all other users? What new building typologies is the rise of cycling creating? What is the architectural history of bicycles, starting with Marinetti, working through Breuer and Banham, and ending with Foster, Ingels and Gehl. What did bikes mean to early twentieth-century artists and architects concerned with representing movement and time? How do bikes change our assumptions about place making and defensible space? What can post-structuralist thinking bring to bike infrastructure discussions and planning? What approach to bike infrastructure is called for, where most voters drive? Yes, I have all the questions! Despite not having ten lifetimes to answer them all, I do have the research methods and institutional apparatus to work with 9 research partners.
Before the built environment is redeemed from all we have done to it with cars, all the above questions and many more, aught to be examined, and the findings disseminated to architects, politicians and planners. So I am putting out this early call for people interested in pursuing post-graduate studies, by research (I will reiterate it with the release of my book on the subject, later this year). If you have good undergraduate qualifications in architecture, or a related area (sociology, human geography, construction management), and are ready to contribute to a better world through research and writing, look me up via my staff profile, here. I am not looking for malingerers avoiding facing up to adulthood or work, and have no pot of gold from which to feed students with scholarships—phew, I’m glad we all understand. What I do have, is time to write to you, if you have time to write to me. Irrespective of whether you would study full time or part time, and no matter how old or young you might be, and no matter if you can start right away, or need to wait, we aught to touch base. I can tell you, as discussions progress, the range of exciting things you might be a part of. The biggest one, clearly, is saving the world. I thought that way in my late teens and twenties, and strangely, have come back to thinking this way, now I have kids.