The long-awaited competition results for the Design 21: Power to the Pedal contest have finally been announced, and although there are some outstanding and innovatively green winners in the top finalists list, there is one entry that did not receive a top award that we were particularly impressed by – enough to give it some call-out attention. The Bloom bike device by Society Creative, LLC, puts a whole new spin on ‘exhaust plumes’ by attaching a reservoir-like-tube that emits bubbles and seeds as you peddle along pathways and paved surfaces. We think that Bloom is a clever way to encourage bike transport as well as greening strategies that literally clean up the streets with vegetable based soap and seeds. What better way to subversively draw attention to guerrilla gardening tactics than on a bicycle built for (seeded) spew?
Similar to the seeded tuft of a dandelion that is dispersed by the wind, seeds in the Bloom device are packed into a vegetable-based soap mixture to create a ‘nugget’ that dissolves while pedaling. This seed nugget is placed in a reservoir inside the Bloom’s aluminum housing, which is attached to the lower frame of the bike near the rear tire (similar to an exhaust pipe). As the cyclist pedals, air is swept in through the front of Bloom and in turn spins a pinwheel inside which picks up a small drop of the seed and bubble mixture. Bubbles result releasing seeds out the back as ‘exhaust’, which then becomes lodged in cracks and crevices throughout the city streets.
Over time, the seeds grow into grass and plants to create a green ‘fringe’ on sidewalks and pavement. Bloom is a Johnny-Appleseed alternative to concrete jungle touring, and we love that Society Creative, LLC, has taken a transportation challenge and transformed it into a catalyst for change and social design advancement. Bloom represents a flowering of design ideas that not only put the ‘power to the pedal’ but also to the people for solutions that we all can benefit from.
As Design 21 outlines there is a concerted push for the use of the bicycle “not just as a leisure activity, but as a solution to a range of problems like pollution, congestion, rising gas prices and issues surrounding community health.” In urban areas around the world, advocacy groups are staking a claim for bicycles and educating the public about the benefits of biking as a means of transport, fitness and fun.”