A Bicycle for Life: Design Team

The team that designed the Bicycle Ambulance was lead by Canadian industrial design student Niki Dun, and included many different people and partners from a variety of backgrounds.

Niki developed the Bicycle Ambulance as her thesis – her final project – for graduation from the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, which is located in Vancouver, Canada. The project has allowed Niki to work with a diverse team of international producers and users who continue to field-test her design.

In the East African country of Malawi, Niki worked with the UK-based non-governmental organization (NGO) Transaid, and the Salima Garage and Welder’s Association. With the help of these two groups, she tested and modified the Bicycle Ambulance to make sure it would meet the needs of the people it was intended to help.

Since it was made up of people and groups with such diverse backgrounds, the design teams had some difficulties at first. In particular, members of the team had trouble communicating and understanding each other. However, they managed to get past their differences and worked together to solve the complex problems they faced. As a result, they were able to create a usable and sustainable design.

“Open Source collaboration is particularly relevant to Design for Development. Design problems can be solved more efficiently, effectively and with greater opportunity for transfer of skills to developing countries when resources and skills are shared across cultures and economic and physical boundaries. It’s a challenge for designers to get our heads around the concept of open collaboration, though, and away from the ‘patent, patent, patent’ mentality that pervades design for consumption in the northern hemisphere.”
– Designer, Niki Dun
Canadian Heritage Information Network
Bruce Mau Design, Institute Without Boudaries

© 2005, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

Teachers' Centre Home Page | Find Learning Resources & Lesson Plans