09.05.16 by Staff

Bicycles Built Based on People’s Attempts to Draw Them From Memory

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In 2009 designer Gianluca Gimini started asking friends and strangers to draw a men’s bicycle from memory. While some got it right, most made technical errors — missing fundaments parts of the frame or chain.

The exercise is similar to psychological tests used to demonstrate how little we know compared to what we think we do. However, for Gimini this isn’t about proving how dumb we are but, rather, how extraordinary our imaginations can be! Having now amassed a collection of 376 drawings from participants ranging from 3 – 88 years of age, Gimini has started building realistic renderings of the bikes based on these sketches, in a 3D program.*

*Post edited to clarify these are 3D renderings

See more images from “Velocipedia” below!

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Gianluca Gimini’s Website

Gianluca Gimini on Behance

 













Staff
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  • Were these bikes featured on the Brain Games episode, “You’re not as smart as you think!”?

    • bowwow rapha

      They may well be as smart as they thing, just needing to think smarter!!

  • Circuit Ben

    Erm, these are 3D renders……. you do know that, right???

    • yes! – thanks the sentence has been corrected

      • Joshua D. Starr

        Um, forgot something: “Bicycles Built Based on People’s Attempts to Draw Them From Memory” (Post Title)

    • Valentin Leondiev

      And I am so glad this is true… The very existence of these bikes as 3d models makes me uncomfortable enough…

    • bikerusl

      They look like 3d renders but he actually Photoshopped them together very skillfully.

      • Matt F

        check out Georgia Maestra’s brooks saddle — it could use a bit more photoshopping

      • Melina Douglas

        I agree!

    • Lazar

      NOooooOooo0oo…….

  • I love these! What a fabulous project.

  • Jacob Zaki

    It’s cool to see how many people don’t consider the function of the parts but just try to remember the visual elements they’re used to seeing. It seems almost half of them have backward chain placement and/or have frozen their steering in the design of the frame. Cool stuff!

    • BlackHatGoat

      well, there’s a reason some people a being called experts.

  • Boris Meixner

    thats ridiciously wonderful!

    • Nick George

      I think that the white one with a small electrical engine under the saddle and touch sensitive buttons on the handle bar would be like the Iphone of the bicycles

      • pragmatic Jim

        and the battery at the very front, so it’s not popping wheelies all the time?

      • Nick George

        battery pack inside the frame….small modules Tesla style…

      • Niklas Fischer

        Pragmatic Jim has a strong point. If you put any weight on that saddle you’ll loop out and end up cracking your skull on the pavement behind. Besides… Where do you put your feet.

      • Nick George

        The battery pack is the most heavy part, after the frame. Could be positioned towards the front to balance the bicycle. Also if went for production the frame shall have dimensions to match the human anatomy, in this case feet rest can be motorcycle like. What is to be noticed of this study is that a bicycle can as well maintain a minimalist design ( no chain, no brake levers, only touch sensitive knobs) having somehow a retro style and good appearance.

    • Sharon

      Couldn’t have said it better myself! May I borrow this phrase for when I share how we mutually felt? 🙂

      • Boris Meixner

        you can borrow this under one condition 😉 please mail me phresh@gmx.de

  • ʍɑ®tӵИ Ġяɘɲδәłмɑɳ

    Brilliant!!!

  • somedutchdude

    These people definitely weren’t dutch. 😛

  • Manfred Martinez Dominguez

    I can’t stop laughing, this made my day.

    • Andrew Stephen Pratt

      Seriously same here. I am laughing so hard I am CRYING. Simply amazing!

  • It’s almost too bad they’re renderings. I would go see this exhibit!

    • maybe someone should take these renderings and make them real (hint hint)

      • G-man

        Or make a vr gallery

      • Drew

        It’s not a hint if you preface the ‘(hint hint)’ with the answer to what you’re hinting at. It’s just a statement.

  • Pescadofisk

    awesome. some of those had me laffin.

  • Sve Law

    The one with chunky tires has all wheel drive 😉

    • Iva

      Noticed the same! Ha!

    • Jason Fernandez

      Which sounds awesome until you realize the chain prevents it from going ’round corners.

      • Enserio?

        You gotta lean into turns . Hehe.

      • BillipPhailey

        Cyclocross!!

      • Dave Schouweiler

        Just need to run another chain to the handlebars and you’ve got power steering.

      • Benjamin

        You can totally turn! … you just can only turn right.

    • moijk

      There have been commercially made all wheel drive bicycles. I recall my bike store had one on display (owners own collection) when I was in my teens in the early 90s.

      However, right now there seem to be a few front wheel drive electric bicycle options. now THAT has to feel weird.

  • AF

    If the bikes were real (instead of being renders) wouldn’t it be great to try and ride them? Number 2 looks so unbalanced my fear would be falling off the back of it. And on some bikes you couldn’t reach the handlebars if you actually sat on the seat!

    • haruspex

      Funny because number 2 is actually the closest to having normal bike geometry.

  • Chaz

    It would be interesting if retired engineer with a soft-spot for art developed a functional model of all of these., with necessary modifications

  • Alex Motard

    Not just well built, but great studio photography as well o.O

  • Mark Colgrove

    Spinal Tap’s “Stonehenge” comes to mind…

  • Rhys

    That is seriously some of the most beautiful industrial design I have ever seen. William S. Burroughs would be proud too.

  • Glen

    One word, the best!

  • Like those plush toys made from kids drawings..

  • Henny Bekker

    Erg mooi, maar op een aantal daarvan zou ik toch niet willen (kunnen) fietsen..

  • Spicerack

    Outrageously brilliant.

  • Rebius

    The last one kills it. The first forward whell driven bicycle 😀

    • Steven Law

      Well…… Since the penny farthing in the late 1800’s anyway 😉

  • leslieworks

    I wonder if any of them are actually viable!

  • Xavier Cardera – Gorr

    Fantásticas!!

  • Nice, this rules Jeff!

  • beautiful

  • Charleysthebest

    I bike all the time but I can see doing this because I stink at drawing. Like, I know there are a lot of spokes, but to draw each and every one in proportion would be beyond me.

    • Wbehun

      I would even suggest that biking all the time puts you at a disadvantage because the object is just so much a part of your world that you likely don’t notice many of the details that someone for whom the bicycle is something of a peculiar object might.

  • Do any of them work?

  • Johan Leide

    This page/project must be the reason they invented internet!

  • Michael Notartomaso

    The last one has Front Wheel Drive! = )
    I think they’re totally lovely and if any of them work, there’s anumber of them I’d love to own!

    • lol @ front wheel drive

    • Front Wheel Drive bikes do exist! The Cruzbike Vendetta is one example.

      I too would like to own some of these bikes even if just to hang on the wall and gaze in wonder. Creative stuff.

  • Alex Barabas

    This is epic!

  • Nick

    Next make em draw people or animals…Now that woud be creepy.

  • farmertom2

    Holy cow, love these!

  • Nick Karvounis

    Concept bikes yeah!

  • Truly fantastic. Goes to show that just because you don’t remember it “correctly”, it may still be alright. 😉

  • Dragon

    Excellent workmanship. Absurd project that shows how much we fail to see or understand of the world around us. (Absurd as in why do this? Yes I know :-because I wanted to, I’m an artist is the reason.)

  • As a big cyclist and cycling fan, I find this absolutely brilliant!

  • Luke Murray

    On some of these the 3d render is completely different from the drawing 😛

  • Nícolas Wildner

    I want the one with big wheels(3) 🙂

  • Ida

    I laugh so hard that I cry.

  • They don’t look half bad in the doodles, but as soon as they’re rendered realistically in 3D all the mistakes are glaring XD haha. Same thing happens with rendering people in 3D, I guess this is why Pixar sticks with stylised characters.

  • Milo

    I wish they were real. Amazing!

  • BillipPhailey

    My back hurts looking at these.

  • fortheloveof..

    This is awesome.. I would proudly ride any of these bikes!

  • Sara

    Guys,

    I need to tell you something hilarious: When I started my
    apprenticeship right after graduating high school in Germany I had to
    pass an assessment center to get in – and they actually made us draw a
    bike! And then we had to give a presentation pretending our future
    bosses had never seen a bike before. This was in 1998, so way before
    wait-let-me-just-google-that-really-quick. I don’t work there anymore
    (yes, I got the job:-)) but as far as I know they kept on testing the
    applicants like that for many more years – maybe even today? Anyway, you
    have no idea what a flashback I am having when I see these bikes now. What a great idea. I am full of
    awe and cracking up laughing at the same time. And yes, I actually thought they were real, that is how excited I was (Thanks everybody for ruining it with all your 3D expertise,you almost brought me to tears). How much do I wish I
    still had my drawing, you have no idea…

    So: Well done, everybody!!!

  • Greg Lumley

    Well done. Well done

  • Seabeast

    Vertical seat tubes directly over the back wheel… ouch! That looks like it would really hurt going over rough pavement.

  • Graham Rees

    So good!

  • Aren Nercessian

    He gave some of them chains that were not drawn. Generous man.





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SLO is a 35mm camera created by 3D designer Amos Dudley, every part of which is 3D printed, including the lenses (although those took about 5 – 6 hours to be sanded down by hand). Designed with a modular lens and shutter system, the lenses can be swapped in/out and longer exposure photos achieved using the shutter buttons along the top. More images of SLO below! You can also check out Dudley’s blog here, where he documented the entire project.

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