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NEWS: OCAD students design bike rings (Dec. 2019)

December 9th, 2019 · No Comments

Traditional and contemporary pieces win competition

OCAD student Che Huang kneels next to his winning bike ring design for Bloor Annex BIA parkettes. KHYRSTEN MIERAS/GLEANER NEWS

By Khyrsten Mieras

New bike racks are being added to the Annex’s urban landscape after OCAD announced the winners of its design contest in mid-November.

As part of the Bloor Street Revitalization Project, students in two OCAD classes took part in a competition last year to design bike racks for the Bloor Annex area. The two winners, Che Huang and Hadas Green, are both third-year students in the industrial design program at the university. They worked in collaboration with the Bloor Annex BIA, the City of Toronto, and architects DTAH to make their unique designs.

Huang created a leaf design that highlights the neighbourhood’s green spaces with simple, modern, and functional elements. The majority of these racks were recently installed at several parkettes along Bloor Street West, including the Major Street parkette.

“When I set out to start the project, I was inspired by nature mostly,” said Huang. “I refined the shape of the leaf down to angles and it became a more geometric form. I really wanted to set out to make something that was mass-producible and would be cheap to make and would be using the existing infrastructure.”

OCAD student Hadas Green with her lamp post bike ring in front of Trinity-St. Paul’s Church. KHYRSTEN MIERAS/GLEANER NEWS

Green designed a more traditional bike rack that is based on a lamp post and made of corten steel. The design is reminiscent of Toronto’s historical culture and was inspired by the city’s historical lighting standards and the Annex in the 1900s. It will be installed at Trinity St. Paul’s United Church to complement the building’s historic architecture.

“With my bike ring, it was really important to me that it captures the whole character of the area,” said Green. “The fact that it’s a bike rack and it’s kind of two dimensional and rustic…captures both the modern aesthetic and then also the history.”

A small jury of stakeholders including BIA, the revitalization committee, and DTAH judged the designs on their security, installation, and aesthetic appeal. 

Brian Burchell, chair of the Bloor Annex BIA (and publisher of this newspaper), has led the Bloor Street Revitalization Project and says that the bike rings will bring economic benefits to the neighbourhood by giving cyclists a place to lock their bikes so they can stop and shop.

“It was pure luck that we learned that there [was] a class of students at OCAD that wanted to participate in a competition to make bike rings that are suitable to our specific environment and our vision of the Annex,” said Burchell. “We were just so fortunate to have all those young, creative minds come up with ideas in that competition and we’re grateful for all those who made the effort to submit a design, and we’re especially grateful to the winning designers.”

The OCAD student-designed racks will be located in the new parkettes and on some side streets, while the city-standard “post and ring” designs will continue to occupy Bloor Street sidewalks.


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