Mexico City-based design agency Studio Jose de la O is on a mission to make urban cyclists safer by increasing their visibility – through sound. The Ecobici is a DIY device that uses a variety of upcycled parts to create a sound machine that produces a friendly, but noticeable sound while cycling, politely alerting drivers and pedestrians that cyclists are also allowed to share public space.
Created by Dutch intern Thomas Hoogewerf under the agency’s Project Friday Initiative, the Ecobici design stems from wanting to help the general population, especially drivers and non-cyclists, adapt to Mexico City’s growing bike population. According to the agency, local infrastructure is becoming more and more bike-friendly, however, the dangers of heavy traffic and unfamiliarity with biking laws continue to make the city a danger zone for cyclists.
The Ecobici sound boxes vary in shape and color, and can be made out of a variety of repurposed materials. Most importantly, they can be easily attached to any public bike in the city. Not only does the device’s click-clack sound create a pleasant soundscape to urban biking, but the noise is distinctive enough to alert car drivers and pedestrians that cyclists are in their immediate area.