Inspired by my new status as a bicyclist, I decided to develop and design an exhibition devoted to the history and contemporary culture of urban bicycling. Acting as a developer, I visited the bicycle collection and archives of the Franklin Institute. I also scoured the archives of Historical Society of Pennsylvania. I interviewed urban planners, the archivist for Fairmount Park and the directors for the Bicycle Coalition of Philadelphia and Neighborhood Bikeworks. The exhibition begins at the Centennial held at Fairmount Park where the bicycle is first introduced to America. Then the visitor is introduced to Mr. Hart’s sewing machine shop where he sold the first high- wheelers in Philadelphia. He also started the first bicycle-riding school.
In a second area is themed like a workshop where visitors have an opportunity to learn basic maintenance, the names of the parts of the bikes as well as get their hands on and help assemble a bike.
A third area introduces visitors to the variety of people that ride bikes in Philly and the different cultures and activities that have sprung up. They learn about the history and rise of bike commuting, bike polo, messengers, Bilenky Junkyard Cyclocross, and Bike Philly.
As a designer, I was inspired by the DIY nature of bicycles and workshops as well as this continuing trend of portraits of bicyclists with their ride. The exhibition blends historic portraits and advertisements with clean contemporary photography.