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Taiwanese designer wins international bicycle award

2010/03/20 17:52:30

Taipei, March 20 (CNA) A Taiwanese designer who has beatenhundreds of competitors from 49 nations to win an international awardfor bicycle design said Saturday that he focused on thepracticability of his winning work targeting women.

"In recent years, there have been many small foldable bicyclesthat look quite sporty or neutral, but I wanted to create a foldablebike especially for women, " said Yellow C, the gold medal winner ofthis year's International Bicycle Design Competition (IBDC).

"When they go to markets or the office, women can put things inthe basket installed at the back of my work, " the 23-year-old toldCNA in a telephone interview.

"I hope this design can become part of people's everyday life, "he said.

The annual IBDC is organized by the Taipei-based Cycling andHealth Center under Taiwan's economics ministry. The contest received720 entries this year.

A total of 10,372 designers from 86 countries have taken part inthe competition over 14 years.

Yellow C's work, Shopping Bike, won highest recognition from aninternational jury Wednesday, allowing him to take home the cashaward of NT$500,000 (US$15,745).

Yellow C originally created the work as a graduation project whenhe was finishing his last year at Shih Chien University's industrialdesign department in Taipei in 2009.

"Designing a bicycle is one of the most difficult challenges fordesign students as it is much larger than objects favored by mostdesign students, such as chairs, blenders, or cell phones," he said.

"Therefore, it requires more time and demanding skills to designa bike," he explained.

"It took me about five months to complete the work, " he said,adding that he underwent a surgical operation to recover from anillness caused by fatigue when his work was nearly complete.

Neil Foley from India took the silver medal, but the bronze wentto another Taiwanese designer, Lin Yu-shu, for his creation of afoldable, electric bicycle equipped with solar panels.

Taiwan took its first gold in the competition two years ago,followed by another gold won by a team of Taiwanese and Chinesedesigners last year.

The organizer said in a press statement that this year'sachievement by Taiwanese designers demonstrated the country'spotential to develop branding.

James Chen, who has served as the IBDC jury convener for eightyears, told CNA that many Taiwanese designers took part in thecompetition in the early years of the award. Although the number ofTaiwanese entries dropped for a while, recent years have seen aresurgence.

Chen said that Taiwanese designers worked harder in recent yearsto join the competition and therefore produced better quality works.

Taiwan's bicycle industry has long attached great importance todesign, he said, citing the many Taiwan-designed components andaccessories at this year's Taipei International Cycle Show as anexample.

"Local companies have spent a lot of effort designing even thesesmall parts," he said.

"More importantly, many of these local companies focus very muchon branding and thus have become leading companies internationally, "he added.

(By Alex Jiang)