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TEDxSP 2009 - Flavio Deslandes

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Good morning. I'm an industrial designer, I'm from Rio de Janeiro, I live in Denmark and I thought it'd be interesting to bring a bit of Denmark here in order to show you how the use of bicycle happens there; the matter of democracy in the Danish traffic. I was super inspired and surprised the first time I was in Denmark. I took pictures all the time in order to understand what was going on there. How did that happen? How can people use their bikes so much? How could there be such harmony among cars and bikes? And, for example, the thing here is that the traffic light is red for cars and green for bikes. So, they have this kind of fair play, bikes get a head start, because they're slower, they're more fragile, and cars have to start after them. Historically, this was the first bike; it was actually a walker. This was meant for short lenghts and its concept was that of a personal object. It was made of natural material, such as wood... And I believe this initial concept got lost in time due to several factors, including the Industrial Revolution, etc. until the bicycle as we know it today came to be. When I started to study Industrial Design, I looked at this bike and I thought it could be reconsidered. How could we reinvent the bike? This was one of the first bamboo bikes I made, while trying to retrieve some of those concepts. That had a really great repercussion in the year 2000 including inspiring other people to work with bamboo, bamboo bike. Here where everything has started. I've worked with research at PUC-RJ in the bamboo lab the bamboo technique development was essentially based by "trial and error" and a lot of patience and persistence as well. There was no particular technique for bamboo so far you couldn't go to a garage to weld the bamboo. I had to figure out how to cut the bamboo how I'd deal with bamboo, where I'd get bamboo how I'd make connections with that, how I'd build a structure and the details of that small structure. Why have I considered bamboo interesting? The first thing is based upon a word called "abundance". Bamboo... I think everyone here has passed by a bamboo forest, a bamboo farm Bamboo is spread throughout Brazil, that is a grass of fast growing, that spreads and that's also invasive. And I remember the time when I was in the lab there were people calling to come and cut the bamboo because that was invading a certain area. I thought that very interesting as construction material as we use for objects production. The other question is that about biodegradability. On that picture over there you can see there's a young bamboo and there's an old bamboo And you can see... It's very clear when you get in a bamboo forest you see the age of the bamboo, you see when it dies, when it grows, when it sprouts and I thought interesting to use that concept in an object. Brazil has a very good geographical condition, a very good soil, which is very propitious to grow bamboo but my question before to start to work with bamboo was: "Would that I'm dealing with gonna work? Would that gonna break?" Some time was taken before to... when I've made the first bike, I was afraid to ride No one wanna try that out, of course should be me to try. But that didn't break, I'm still here yet. When I saw Santos Dumont... that was an ultralight made by Santos Dumont in 1900. Around to 200 ultralights like that were commercialized and its entire structure was made using bamboo. So I thought: "If he did make an ultralight, an object of such complexity I'd make a bike using bamboo". There are more than one thousand bamboo species for different kinds of use, for example: that for civil construction, the bigger one craftworks, small objects... By the way, that bamboo is native from Amazonia, a Brazilian native bamboo. Bamboo is... there's a sectional cut there... it's round, it's empty inside and its external part is the hardest, the strongest, the noblest part. Unlike wood. In wood, the internal part is the noblest, in bamboo is the opposite. It's not totally straight, it's curved. Its fibers are disposed in line, parallel to each other. Here is a microscopically zoom on a bamboo you can see the bamboo cells as they're going out, they're getting denser. So, all that, that physical characteristic was a thing I'd take into consideration when working with bamboo or when making that adptations, that structures and everything. Here is an example for a use of that study with bamboo. The Biomega Bamboo Bike. Biomega is a Danish company of bike design. They've asked me in 2001 to work with them in the project because their idea was to bring the natural material back to a personal object but they didn't know how that bike would work, how to build it not risking breaking it. That is the first draft I've got from Biomega. That was their idea about how it would be bamboo would be green... it'd be placed around aluminum connections the aluminum connections... here, isn't working... those parts there... and the bamboo should be green then. That's a detail from that connection, that attachment. I've found five challenges I'd to work with. The first one: incompatibility of materials because were two different materials, aluminum and bamboo. Alignment between connections. Bamboo isn't straight, it's curved sometimes you get a straight bamboo, but it's really hard so you should have to make that bike to be aligned, to be pretty right regardless the bamboo to be curved or straight. Union or collage, they're two different kinds of material, aluminum and bamboo. There was nothing like that in that time. There was no adhesive in market telling that "it can glue bamboo and aluminum". So, that was a thing I should to find out Side efforts on bamboo tubes, as that connection was inside the bamboo that would do the bike to vibrate and that could do the bamboo to open. A greater exposition for the bamboo. Because that's placed outside, that connection. That does get more exposed to the environment. And that'd be a problem of lost of wetness or gain of wetness that'd change size and it'd cause the structure to fail on that part of the glue. Up there is the original draft. Here is the draft for my proposition about the things to do to solve those problems so, one thing I did was to increase the area between that aluminum connection and the bamboo to be able to use different bamboos with different diameters regardless to be straight or curved. That glue would be a flexible glue to absorb all the vibrations which that bike would be exposed to as well thermal expansions. There's an aluminum ring helping to hold the bamboo end to avoid it to open and also protects the bamboo against bad weather, against lost of wetness and gain of wetness. As design done for production already with all this idea to solve the connection done. To finish, that bike has passed by a test stage and in the beginning I asked to... Biomega has talked to me: "We need to test that bike", "We need a certification". So, I asked them: "So, let's test five bikes" and they: "No, just one". So, I made the bike, I knew the bike would pass in advance but I set with them. I asked them for the bike to be tested until broke because, as a researcher, we only get answers when something breaks. And, that was important to me to see where its weak point was what I could improve. Well, in the end there was a breakage, but the machine has broken but actually I get frustrated, because I had no answer at all and, by the way, the factory sent the bill to Biomega. And I hope Biomega don't send the bill to my house, now that I'm talking about that. Well, that is it. Thank you.

Video Details

Duration: 12 minutes and 21 seconds
Country: Brazil
License: All rights reserved
Producer: TEDxSP + colmeia
Director: Julio Taubkin
Views: 108
Posted by: tedxsp on Dec 11, 2009

Flavio Deslandes no TEDx São Paulo 2009

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