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You’d Be Surprised How Hard It Is to Draw a Bike from Memory

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Photo: Gianluca Gimini
Ever tried to draw a bike from memory? It’s surprisingly hard. That’s what Gianluca Gimini, a teacher of design at the University of Ferrara, discovered when he asked friends and family to sketch their favorite whips. People forgot critical parts like rear triangles and seatposts, creating totally un-roadworthy frankensteeds. But lots of the sketches were beautiful and inventive, and Gimini decided to turn them into digital renderings as part of a project he’s calling Velocipedia. Here are some of his favorites.

Photo: This one is from Leonardo, one of my students at the Università of Ferrara. You can trust me that Leonardo knows a bike has a chain and pedals!
Photo: Gianluca Gimini
Martino, who as a child injured his calf badly on a mountain bike without a chain guard, drew one of the most accurate sketches. I guess the trauma made him remember the bike quite vividly.
Photo: Gianluca Gimini
I really fell in love with this design from Fiorenza. I forgave her for forgetting that wheels are attached by the hub and not the tire (a frequent mistake), but I couldn’t resist the way the handlebar connects to the fork.
Photo: Gianluca Gimini
Massimo’s is the most functional, innovative design I rendered. It uses a bit more metal for the frame than the normal diamond shape, but it would actually ride pretty well.
Photo: Gianluca Gimini
This one is from my uncle. I think the last time he rode a bike was when he was a child, and that’s why his design has a little flag. Clearly this model could never steer, but I do like it very much.
Photo: Gianluca Gimini
A design from my cousin, who’s a doctor and biked regularly until a few years ago. I guess he’s just not the best observer: his design is possibly the oddest, with both a lateral frame and two-wheel drive.
Photo: Gianluca Gimini
I liked Giorgia’s drawing for its odd pedals, which look a bit like stirrups.
Photo: Gianluca Gimini
I got more than one design like this one, where both the front and back wheels were connected with forks.
Photo: Gianluca Gimini
From my friend Marco. He’s a graphic designer and visual artist. He drew his bike around an M (as in Marco, of course).
Photo: Gianluca Gimini
I sort of cheated on this one: I’m sure this person intended to represent the frame connecting the front hub to the rear one.
Photo: Gianluca Gimini
I love how simple this representation is. Just one pedal!  
Photo: Gianluca Gimini
Simply the best mudguard design I have ever seen. I want this on my bike—even if the front guard is completely useless.

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