Skip to main content

Now you see it. Then you don’t. Disappearing bike rack could declutter cities

Image used with permission by copyright holder
As useful as they may be, there’s no denying that public bike racks aren’t exactly an aesthetic boon to a cityscape. Unwieldy, large, and generally in the way, the standard storage solution for our two-wheeled transportation options doesn’t exactly encourage folks to forego cars for bikes. Until now.

Meet Milou Bergs, a graduate of the Design Academy Eindhoven, who has designed a bike rack worthy of the 21st century and beyond. This bicycle holder appears when you need it and disappears when you don’t — the bike rack response to today’s pop-up trend. Called the Align bike rack, Bergs’ creation proves that form and function absolutely can overlap.

During her time as a student in the Netherlands, a nation well known for its biking population, Bergs noted that while cycling was great for the planet, it wasn’t so great for the overall look of a city’s public spaces.

“Bicycle racks are a particular eyesore,” Bergs told Dezeen. “Even when not in use, they get in the way, creating physical and visual noise.” As such, she noted, “I started to think about how I could make a space visually and physically serene while keeping the functionality of storage.”

Enter the pop-up design. The rack is actually activated by the weight of a bicycle’s front wheel. Whenever a panel senses the presence of such a wheel, a bracket emerges and locks the back wheel into place, securing the entire bike. And when you’re ready to pedal away, the rack goes back into the ground from whence it came.

Bergs hopes this design, if widely implemented, will help keep public spaces cleaner, more open, and more accessible. “[It] means that public spaces can once again be open, making room for events, markets or everyday life,” she said. And her hope may come true — apparently, her design has already garnered the interest of a number of Dutch cities.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

“[Align] can be implemented on a larger scale once I have developed the bicycle rack in collaboration with a production company,” she said. “At the moment I am researching and discussing the possibilities.” Hopefully, her design can cross the ocean and makes its way to the U.S. as well.

Editors' Recommendations

Lulu Chang
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Fascinated by the effects of technology on human interaction, Lulu believes that if her parents can use your new app…
How to get your stimulus check if you don’t file taxes
how to file for stimulus

The IRS is sending all Americans, including both taxpayers and non-taxpayers, stimulus checks as part of a $2 trillion initiative to combat the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

While the IRS will use the most recent tax filings to determine how much taxpayers will receive in their stimulus checks, non-taxpayers are also eligible for financial aid.
Where to enter information?
Non-taxpayers will need to visit the IRS' dedicated webpage for COVID-19 stimulus checks, click on the blue button that says "Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here," and the same button on the succeeding page.

Read more
You don’t need to be an experienced chef to cook dishes with the Julia system
CookingPal Julia System

The late legendary chef Julia Child is synonymous with fine cooking, and now a new Julia is arriving on the culinary scene. Julia, the "Intelligent Autonomous Cooking System" by CookingPal, can shop for food and cook it for you. It can also chop, stir, knead, steam and can even wash itself. It will be unveiled at the CES 2020, with demonstrations and meals taking place at the CookingPal booth.

“Whether someone is juggling a hectic schedule, is known for burning meals, or frequently forgets important recipe steps, we can all use a little extra help in the kitchen,” said Anna Khomenko, marketing manager at CookingPal. “Julia makes mouthwatering, healthy, homemade meals fun, easy, and fast. Ideal for complete beginners, frantic family lives and those working long hours, the system has been designed to take the chaos out of culinary creations.”

Read more
We watched Zuckerberg’s testimony so you don’t have to. Here are 5 key takeaways
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

The first time Mark Zuckerberg stood before Congress, the Facebook founder addressed concerns over a lack of privacy after Cambridge Analytica. But the second time the tech titan fielded questions on Capitol Hill, members of the House Financial Services Committee grilled a nervous Zuckerberg over too much privacy.

On Wednesday, the Facebook CEO testified before the committee in a session focused on the cryptocurrency Libra -- and how too much encryption may make it the ideal platform for money laundering and terrorism.

Read more