“Most people have a very hard time remembering exactly how a bike is made.”
This was the conclusion Italian-American designer Gianluca Gimini drew after an experiment he began in 2009. He would ask friends and strangers to sketch out drawings of a man’s bicycle from memory.
“Some did get close, some actually nailed it perfectly, but most ended up drawing something that was pretty far off from a regular men’s bicycle,” he writes.
Inspired by the variety of conceptualizations and how different they were from the actual object—a topic that’s also been the source of some academic study—Gimini built 3D versions of the sketches. He says:
I decided my job was going to be to present the potential and the beauty inside these sketches. I selected those that I found most interesting, genuine and diverse, then rendered them as if they were real. I became the executor of these two minute projects by people who were mainly non-designers and confirmed my suspicion: Everyone, regardless [of] his age and job, can come up with extraordinary, wild, new and at times brilliant inventions.
He has collected the sketches and renders in full on his website here. ”A single designer could not invent so many new bike designs in 100 lifetimes and this is why I look at this collection in such awe,” he adds.
They’re a reminder of not only how far our perceptions can stray from the real thing, but also how such a common, everyday sight can confound so many.