It is very unusual to receive a successful and flawlessly functioning product together with a wish to drastically change it. Yet BMW ask me just that.
The question was if I could imagine converting their ‘BMW Cruise Bike’ into a unique one off piece as part of an extensive good cause charity project.
Reviewing BMW and its world more generally lead to a closer look at the Formula-1 world, as it seemed to embody a sharpened image of not only BMW, but the whole motor world as well.
I was fascinated by this world as a child (what kid doesn’t like race cars?), but actually watching the races was inhibited by my parent’s black and white television – all cars looked the same. This anecdote of a childhood memory popped up in mind while looking at this world again. It emphasized just how much emotionally loaded colours are in those contexts. It became clear that we would be busy with identity and symbolism.
While working on the project a slight earth quake happened in the F-1 world where one of the leading names admitted copying parts and secrets of the other. That brought up the amusing thought that in a sense when one looked at a car (let’s call it the red car) it was in-fact the other – just in a different colour (the blue car).
This slightly schizophrenic reality was translated directly to the bicycle. Being a flat, almost two dimensional object, it was perfect to the identity game. Looking at it from top, either half of it were painted in the competitors colours.
The visual illusion worked well. While looking at someone cycling up the street he was riding a red bike, cycling the other direction the bike turned blue.