The project ‘Velocipedia’ started in 2009, when designer Gianluca Gimini had a chat with his friend at a bar in Bologna. They recalled an embarrassing memory from school times, when a classmate, asked by a technical teacher, couldn’t properly draw a bike from the memory.
“A single designer could not invent so many new bike designs in 100 lifetimes and this is why I look at this collection in such awe.” Gimini’s friend laughed at the story and said that anyone who had ridden a bike must know how it was made. Then he tried drawing one on a napkin and miserably failed. That day, the American-Italian designer started to collect bike drawings from his friends, family or just simply strangers. He would give them a sheet of paper, pen and ask to draw a bicycle by heart. It appeared that most people actually struggled with remembering how exactly the bike is made. “Some did get close, some actually nailed it perfectly, but most ended up drawing something that was pretty far off from a regular men’s bicycle,” says Gimini.
Over the time, he built up a big and diverse collection. He explains: “There is an incredible diversity of new typologies emerging from these crowd-sourced and technically error-driven drawings. A single designer could not invent so many new bike designs in 100 lifetimes and this is why I look at this collection in such awe.” In 2016, Gimini finally decided to take the part in this project himself, and to reveal the potential and beauty of these sketches. He selected the ones he found the most interesting, and then rendered them as if they were real. The result was surprising and proved that everyone, regardless of age and profession, can come up with extraordinary and brilliant inventions.
All images © Gianluca Gimini