Celebrating bicycle design at the Design Museum Holon

A new exhibition of 100 bikes charts the development of this simple, brilliant piece of design

In the car-obsessed 1980s, few people would have predicted that the bicycle would again become such a popular mode of transport in 'developed' countries. But the bike is the perfect way of getting around our crowded and polluted cities. Now a new exhibition at the Design Museum Holon, celebrates the history and development of this hugely successful and ingeniously simple piece of design.


Herse Demontable; Design Museum Holon

Although the basic design of the bike has changed little since its invention 200 years ago, the 100 bikes in this exhibition give a fascinating insight into the various technological and social developments that have taken place over the past two centuries.

Timed to coincide with the 100th Tour de France next year, the exhibition examines models from different historic periods to the most innovative models, allowing visitors the opportunity to appreciate the vast diversity of the bicycle's design details both comparatively and through a wide variety of cross sections.


Moulton Titan; Design Museum Holon

The Upper Gallery will present 43 iconic bicycles from the private collection of Michael Embacher, an Austrian architect, designer and bicycle collector, who has collected some 275 unique bicycles over the past decade. The bikes have been selected both for the quality of design and also to represent pivotal moments in the evolution of the bicycle design.

Exhibited bicycles include the 1940 Paratrooper, a folding bicycle with an attached parachute used during the second world war by British paratroopers, and an early version of a fixed wheel drive bicycle dating from the 1970s.


Schauff Wall Street; Design Museum Holon

The Lower Gallery will display 11 bikes manufactured in Israel alongside historical posters, photographs and videos that have accompanied the bicycle and cycling culture in Israel from the 1930s to the present day.


Strida I; Design Museum Holon

The Collections Corridor will allow visitors to trace the development of bicycles, cycling trends and fashion from the end of the sixteenth century to the present day.

The Design Lab will then present the future and innovation of bicycle design through movies and examples of 3D modelling.

Movies produced and recorded by single riding bike-riders will be screened on a wall in the entrance hall of the museum.

Galit Gaon, Chief Curator at Design Museum Holon, says, 'An object used daily by millions of people all over the world, Free Wheel at Design Museum Holon demonstrates that the bicycle is the most efficient mode of transportation throughout history. Whilst its characteristic structure has remained largely unchanged, the bicycle challenges the limits of innovative thinking of designers, inventors, cyclists, and industrialists worldwide.


Lower Gallery: Bicycles from Alon Wolf Bicycle Museum. Photo: Benny Gam Zo Letova

It is a mode of transportation that has transitioned from the purely functional to desirable and unique, a sporting and social trend which influences lifestyles. At Design Museum Holon, we aim to demonstrate how bicycles seamlessly fit into our everyday lives whilst also improving the quality of our lives.'

The Free Wheel exhibition will be accompanied by bicycle events for the whole family: a bicycle film festival at Holon Cinematheque, a bicycle school, an international conference on urban planning and bicycles, and the launching of a unique Design Detectives program.

The Free Wheel is on until 22 March, 2014.

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