AffiliationUniversity of Chester
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AbstractThis chapter focuses on the ways in which bicycle design connects with a range of factors; how external forces may shape reinterpretations of bicycle design, and how bicycle design, in turn, may be used to try to shape the external world. Two historical cases are explored to show how bicycles, as design objects, are entangled with practices and identities: Germany in the 1920s and 1930s and England in the 1960s and 1970s. In the first case, design is used to reproduce and reinforce a dominant political ideology through reinterpretation rather than innovation. Here the bicycle allows new connections to be made between state and citizen. In the second case, design innovation is employed to challenge dominant ideologies of mobility: bicycles are used to connect citizens to new mobility practices. Both cases illustrate the relations between design and politics and both have implications for inclusion and access aspects of social justice. Both studies make use of close reading of manufacturers’ literature but place it more strongly in a political/cultural context to understand the relationship between the design objects and wider society.
CitationCox, P. (2017). Bicycle Design History and Systems of Mobility. In J. Spinney, S. Reimer, & P. Pinch (Eds.), Mobilising Design, Designing Mobilities: Intersections, Affordances, Relations (pp. 48-61). London, United Kingdom: Routledge.
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