Over the next two weeks on the Cooper-Hewitt Design Blog, students from an interdisciplinary graduate-level course on the Triennial taught by the Triennial curatorial team blog their impressions and inspirations of the current exhibition,'Why Design Now?'

Janette Sadik-Khan, New York’s Transportation Commissioner, has transformed the city’s streetscape—ostensibly a change that directly impacts every resident and visitor to New York. In less than three years, the New York City Department of Transportation has added hundreds of miles of bike lanes and dozens of pedestrian plazas. Most of these progressive initiatives have been met with a rare burst of residential approval.

Residents with an eye for detail will notice that the city’s newly designed bike rack, the NYC Hoop, is starting to make its presence felt on the streets, as the city tests various securing methods to both sidewalks and subway grates. Designers Ian Mahaffy and Maarten De Greeve (of Denmark’s Bettlelab) won the 2008 CityRacks Design Competition, coordinated by the NYCDOT in collaboration with the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Google, and Transportation Alternatives.

The NYC Hoop’s formal geometry will make a new design statement on city sidewalks. The design of the bike rack—a cast-metal hoop with a crossbar—hints at its function by echoing the form of a bicycle wheel while being unobtrusive, thanks to its unusually small footprint.

Over 3,000 are Hoops will be installed in the next year, and with commuter cycling in New York up 66%, they will be needed, as the city’s informal DIY bike rack—the parking meter—is being replaced with electronic 'pay and display' parking pay stations.

Laura Forde School of Visual Arts Design Criticism MFA program

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