SIGD Students Craft Bike Rack for Innovation Portal
Last spring, students in Professor Randy Bartlett’s third year industrial design studio created an original bike rack for an innovative space. Innovation Portal is a small business incubator in Mobile, Alabama, where startup businesses can rent affordable office or meeting space. The organization offers services, programs and activities that help entrepreneurs grow their new businesses. Since many people who use Innovation Portal’s space commute by bike, Bartlett asked his students to provide a solution to the problem of indoor bicycle storage.
The project was part of an industrial design studio at futures studio, the School of Industrial and Graphic Design’s (SIGD) off-campus instructional site in Mobile where students can complete a semester of their studies. Futures studio students are well-acquainted with Innovation Portal’s space since they frequently use it for lectures and meetings.
After researching bike racks, Bartlett’s students developed and presented multiple concepts and models to Innovation Portal representatives, who eventually narrowed it down to the design they liked best. The students manufactured the bike rack themselves in the SIGD shop on Auburn’s campus and delivered and installed it at Innovation Portal in Mobile.
“We welded up the brackets on campus, and we made the wood and then the background where it goes into the wall. We also engraved the skyline of Mobile on the wood,” Bartlett explained, adding that Innovation Portal’s new addition is both functional and artistic. “It looks like a piece of sculpture, so even when you see it without any bikes it still looks great.”