Thonet Bike – design brand hype

Last week we came across the Thonet wooden concept bike designed by Australian Architect/Designer Andy Martin. Immediately it seemed like the kind of thing we should be writing about, two brands strategically aligning to create beautiful desirable products. But that would be wrong.

Sure the bike is beautiful the concept behind using the ‘low tech process of steaming beach’ to honour Thonet’s chair seems plausible. It fails to regard all the things that make the original chair is a true design classic that is considered the most successful mass produced product in the world to date.

Thonet’s chair was successful because he understood the abilities of the material, the manufacturing process, the needs of his customers and combined these with style to produce chairs that have outlived their time. The bike on the other hand is a ridiculous, shallow grab at a headline. An afternoon of CAD modelling, some average photoshop work and the most ‘creative part’: the press release with the eye catching price tag.

It’s clear these people know nothing about designing bikes. Don’t seam to understand the physical realities of cycling or anything about the realities of working in a medium that the Thonet brand was built on. Instead of building the brands of the two companies this folly undermines them both.

Don’t design a wooden bike that wooden work, talk to us about managing your brand

Derek Carroll
Design Director

Post a comment

Tags: , , , , , ,