Dutch Design Bike exhibition in Domosfera offers commercial and designer bicycles.
© Oksana Faryna
For Dutch people bicycles are more than just a means of transportation. They are a way of life, a philosophy and a designer object at the same time – something that can be clearly seen at the Dutch Design Bike exhibition that opened at Domosfera shopping center on the outskirts of Kyiv earlier this month.
Organized by famous Dutch design group Yksi, the exhibition consists of ten remarkable bicycles, commercial and designer, plus a collection of objects created out of bicycle parts or inspired by them. There are chairs made of bicycle frames as well as a handbag, a rug and even jewelry made from bicycle tires.
“In Holland we have this bicycle feeling for the last 60-70 years,” said Leonne Cuppen, a designer and member of Yksi group who came to Kyiv to open the exhibition. “Holland is flat,” she explained. “Therefore everyone has a bike, some two, some three. Children learn to ride it at the age of 4.”
Cuppen said she has two bikes and can often be seen riding one of them with her bag in front of the wheel and her two kids behind her back. Her husband has three bikes. The designer said a bike for her means one word: “freedom.”
Statistics show bikes outnumber people in the Netherlands, with 19 million bikes for 16 million residents.
In Ukraine the situation is quite different.
“In Kyiv it’s really suicide to go by bike. I would not do it here,” said Cuppen, who lives in Eindhoven. Asked what could be done to make Kyiv more bicycle friendly she says “a lot” but then adds: “You have wide streets. Take two meters from both sides of each and that’s it. You have to make the lanes otherwise it’s impossible.”
For those critics who say that Kyiv is too hilly to be convenient for cyclists, the exhibition offers a solution – an electric bike. It has five gears and a battery that can last for 70 kilometers without recharging. Its only disadvantage is a price tag of around two thousand euro.
Apart from ultra modern orange electric bicycles, the exhibition features bamboo, oak and copper bikes that can be used for regular travel. Other bicycles are designers objects decorated with flower pots and baskets or knitted over by bright threads.
Since its creation in Eindhoven in 2008 the popular exhibit has come to Bratislava, Moscow, Tallinn, Brussels, Tunis and Budapest. After Kyiv it will go to Saint-Petersburg, Milan, Tel Aviv and Prague.
Dutch Design Bike exhibition
Domosfera shopping center, 101 Stolychene Highway.
Open every day from 10 a.m. till 10 p.m. through Dec. 10.
Entrance is free.
Kyiv Post staff writer Oksana Faryna can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.