I got a note from Mike Tower of Studio Tractor Architecture the other day showing off his firm's collaboration with metalworker Peter Kirkiles, a cotter pin-inspired bike rack built in conjuction with Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum's new exhibition Bike Rides. The show opens today at the Ridgefield, Connecticut, museum.
Though the racks Tractor and Kirkiles designed will be installed in front of the museum for the exhibition, Tower tells me that they'll also be for sale, in stainless steel, inside the gift shop.
"The [goal of] the exhibition was to consider the new relevance of the bicycle today, as public interest in it grows," says Tower. "Artists and fabricators were invited to participate."
"Our contribution of the bike rack design grew out of our longstanding collaboration with Peter Kirkiles," he continues. "We know Peter from Cranbrook where our paths crossed, and we share a similar sensibility when it comes to detail and expression: utility, strength and simplicity. Materials and their properties are directly expressed."
Popular interest in bike culture does seem to be hitting something of a critical mass these days.
Not long ago Talking Head-cum-artist David Byrne published the book Bicycle Diaries about his decades of cycling, and even poked his nose into the bike rack game with a few designs of his own. Check out this video from the Wall Street Journal to see them, as well as Byrne riding the street of New York.