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  • Monowheel

Wilson, Ben, 2008, Art or design object, Monowheel

Abstract or Description:

Commissioned by Issey Miyake for the ‘XXIst Century Man’ exhibition in Tokyo (http://www.2121designsight.jp/en/program/xxic/), the Monowheel is now in a private collection. The exhibition marked the anniversary of the opening of the first museum in Japan devoted exclusively to design.
The research represents Wilson’s fascination with investigating and revisiting the history of the cycle, reflected in Orloff’s comment on the Monowheel in Modern TRIZ (2012), ‘history repeats itself at a new level of evolution.’
Since the 1860s, many patents have been filed for single-wheel vehicles, but there is nothing currently in production. Wilson therefore created one to provoke discussion and advance his own research programme. Wilson does not suggest that a functioning human-powered monowheel is likely to provide an improvement on the modern bicycle: its value comes from the discourse and from spin-off ideas generated as a result of the investigation, which combined historic research, hands-on engineering, designing and evaluation.
Wilson gave a related designer’s talk at the gallery in Tokyo in April 2008. Monowheel has been covered internationally in North and South America, Europe and Asia on over 100 blogs concerned with design, cycling and the environment. Befitting a design provocation, editorial comment ranged from ‘awesome appeal’, ‘revolutionary’ and ‘the charm of orbital satellites and pioneer projects from the beginning of the 20th century’ to ‘tech junk of the week’. Intersection magazine, its covers almost invariably dominated by cars, instead displayed the Monowheel in its Autumn 2008 edition.

Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W200 Design studies > W280 Interactive and Electronic Design
School or Centre: School of Design
Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2013 15:18
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2014 14:33
URI: http://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/1476

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