May 2, 2013
Question 1: True or false, form follows function?
This question asks whether or not designers need to start with utility and work backwards toward design. Most people agree the answer to this question is “true.” But I love it when great design goes hand in hand with something that really works and neither is subordinated or trumped by the other. Enter the invisible bike helmet.
As part of their Masters thesis, two industrial design students from Sweden set out to design a better bike helmet. They came up with something so creative and so ingenious that shortly after they graduated, they raised more than $10 million to develop the idea commercially.
Question 2: Which of these women is wearing a bike helmet?
It is a trick question because they both are. The Hovding bike helmet sits in a little zipped up neck pouch. Gyroscope-type sensors embedded in the pouch detect when the bike begins to topple or swerve. An airbag deploys, covering and cushioning your head before impact. Genius.
I love when great design and innovation go hand-in-hand. I love it even more when the geniuses behind the idea are women. Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin developed and hold the patent for the invisible bike helmet. Watch this video to hear more about their story.