This weekend saw the unveiling of the collaborative bicycle designs that are going head to head in the third edition of the Oregon Manifest, in which five teams in as many cities set out to create and craft the best urban utility bike. As of Monday morning, the public is invited to vote on their favorite one, which may well be produced by Fuji Bikes in the near future. We are pleased to present exclusive Q&As with each team so they have a chance to explain why their bicycle is the best before the voting period closes this Sunday, August 3.
Did you and Sizemore know (or know of) each other before the collaboration? What was the matchmaking process like?
Roger Jackson (Creative Director, TEAGUE): Oregon Manifest did a great job pairing us with two incredible potential bike partners; we visited and spent time with both of them at their workshops. That alone was a privilege. To see true craftsmanship in the flesh, both makers had their own unique style and preferences for bike building. But this project was going to be a longterm engagement (nine months), so it was important that there was the ability to meet up regularly and a shared vision for what we wanted to achieve. Taylor Sizemore was a natural fit for our team, but was also excited to go beyond his own comfort level with the build, which excited us.
By its very nature, the design-fabrication relationship for this collaboration is far more intimate than your average designer’s relationship with a contractor or manufacturer. To what degree did you educate each other on your respective areas of expertise? Has the collaboration yielded broader lessons?
Intimate is right! Taylor is now part of the TEAGUE family! We’ve been fortunate with just how much time and energy he’s put into this endeavor. From the first brainstorm, he was there, sparing and inspiring us. As for the education, he was fascinated with just how quickly we could get into 3D CAD and spit out prototypes on our 3D printers. I would also say from a technology stand point, being able to quickly mock-up and test lighting and haptic feedback concepts using arduinos, was also something we offered Taylor. As for us, the advantage of Taylor building custom bikes is that he knows exactly what works and what doesn’t from an ergonomic standpoint. Something that may look cool or unique could negatively impact the ride comfort and quality. It was truly a mutual learning experience.