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Posted by: Helen Walters on May 07, 2008
I’m a big fan of the work of designer Branko Lukic. Having spent many years at consultancies such as Frog and IDEO, he branched out in 2006 to found his own design firm, Non-Object. A part of what he and his team of four, split between Palo Alto and Lukic’s native Belgrade are working on is a book which will feature 45 radical design ideas and experiments. Lukic dubs the thinking behind the book “design fiction” and proposals includes concepts and prototypes for products such as cell phones, cameras and cutlery. Now here’s travel, and an exclusive first look at nUCLEUS, Non-Object’s alternative fuel motorbike concept.
Image of the bike, ready to roll
Looks unlike anything you’d see on a road, huh? Well that’s exactly the point. These concepts are not necessarily meant to be produced, but to start a conversation about received design wisdom and to get people thinking about design — and those elements we take for granted. More from Branko — and more images of the motorcycle, after the jump. Also, check out the film on the Non-Object site.
Image of the bike at rest
Here's Branko's own description of the bike:
It’s a motorcycle built on the antagonistic principle of “square against air”. And yet, despite its unique appearance and apparent opposition to aerodynamic design, nUCLEUS ended up being surprisingly nimble. The square side-view hides the fact that these pieces of metal are simply... fierce blades that cut through air. nUCLEUS also boasts a thin comfortable saddle and horse-like behavior system - a new way to connect with your vehicle: it gets up on its hind legs in action, and rests down squarely while locked or at rest.
In an age when so many companies claim to be looking for design thinking, they'd do worse than to give Branko a call. However far-fetched some of his ideas might seem on first viewing, this is not mere gimmickry. Some of the products could be produced without too much difficulty. And if this is the quality of the ideas he's giving away for free (as he says, "they’re not patented. I’m giving them away to any designer and any company. You go and develop them if you want to" then imagine what you'd get if he's really focused on your company and what you need to do next.
The front (left) and back (right) of the bike.
What comes next? The BusinessWeek Innovation and Design team of Michael Arndt and Helen Walters chronicle new tools for creativity and collaboration, innovation case studies in both the corporate and social sectors, and the new ideas that have the power to change the way things have always been done.