Storefront for Community Design and Middle of Broad Street (MOB) are holding a happy hour fundraiser, Thursday June 19th, to help bring more bike racks to Broad street.
Free finger foods and happy hour drink specials will be available, while the groups raise money for the construction of new bike racks to be placed along RVA’s busiest road.
Founded in February 2011, The Storefront for Community Design is Richmond’s non-profit design and building resource. It brings public and private resources to a central location to help facilitate projects for individuals, businesses and organizations.
MOB is a VCUarts interdisciplinary design studio. Largely student driven, the group focuses on interior, graphic and fashion design.
This project is not the first time Storefront and MOB have worked together. “Storefront is a design assistance center. Sometimes projects come through us that we delegate to (MOB). This is an example of a project that MOB found for themselves,” said Tyler King, program manager at Storefront.
Dylan Halpern, a rising senior at VCU, studies graphic design and has been involved with MOB for the past two semesters. For this project, he designed two potential bike racks for the project.
“Originally it was (Bike Rack Design) given to us as a challenge from the faculty, that we were given the parameters for. We were given that prompt and we kind of just started to explore,” Said Halpern.
The group met with someone involved in the 2015 bike race, and were challenged to develop a bike rack that could be unique to the city. “The condition for Richmond was how we wanted to create something that might be scaleable or replicable throughout the city, it would help to create an identifiable more specific bike rack,” said Halpern.
The two projects he submitted featured two very different bike racks. “One was small, that could hold one or a couple of bikes. The other was kind of a larger, what we call a bike corral, that can hold 10-15 bicycles. My concept for it was to kind of make it a place where you sit and have lunch,” said Halpern.
Designs were created during a week long intensive session, in the end nearly 70 designs were submitted for the project. That’s when Storefront became involved. “It just got to a point where we wanted to see some of these realized, so we decided to do this happy hour,” said King.
According to Halpern, the selected bike design was largely done by the faculty at MOB and was based on the number of bikes the rack could hold. In the end, the design selected and approved by both Storefront and MOB can hold up to 20 bikes and is in the shape of a bicycle.
According to King, the city has done a pretty good job in the past when embracing bike culture. “We are seeing more post and loop racks around the city,” said King “ so this isn’t a way of saying hey you haven’t provided enough bike racks, its just a way of saying these are ways that they can also be designed.”
To get the project off the ground the organizations hope to raise $8,000 to build the bike racks. Realistically says King, the project will start sometime in the fall, but if they reach their goal during the happy hour the project could start immediately.