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There's a Riddle Hidden Within This Bike Rack

There's a Riddle Hidden Within This Bike Rack

Everyone knows bicycling is David Byrne’s favorite mode of transport in any environment. And everyone knows David Byrne’s preferred environment to navigate is the city, which is to say New York. The musician-artist-cyclist has involved himself with the city’s bike politics in the past, championing the DOT’s bike lane expansion proposal – as Gothamist reminds us – plus designing a whimsical coterie of car bike racks in 2008 that were sprinkled throughout Manhattan (and Brooklyn), from a massive dollar sign in Wall Street to a ironically suggestive outline of a night-worker at “Old Times Square”. Now, Byrne has reprised the project for a temporary installation outside the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

For the installation, Byrne drew up two new bespoke bike racks, each of which were positioned to flank BAM’s main entrance. The blue stations spell out “Micro Lip” and “Pink Crown”–messages without any encoded meaning but whose form indicates towards the easy modularity of the content at hand, in this case, letters and phrases (just like I Zimbra!)

As Byrne explains, "When designing these bike racks, I wondered how I could make something that was modular, yet variable—a design that wouldn’t always look the same and could vary depending on season and placement." The letters can be rearranged to form other letters–though not all letters, just those contained within the “David Byrne Bike Rack alphabet”–and different words, like BAM. According to the project organizers, the work is part of an ever evolving installation, which will grow with the help and input of the local community and BAM’s social media audience. And yes, the bike rack is functional.


Byrne in 2008, with one of his lively bike racks designed for the DOT; Photo: G.R. Christmas

This post originally appeared on Architizer, an Atlantic partner site.

Samuel Medina is a contributor to Architizer. All posts »

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