Campaign successfully funded on: 08 Jul,2016
How it all started
It all started 4 years ago, back in my second year of university. Faced with the catastrophic traffic of Ras Beirut, my friend and I decided to dig out our rusty old bicycles in an attempt to get to class on time every morning. It was the best decision I had ever made, turning my life around, and I have been commuting by bicycle ever since. By the time I had to work on my graduation project, it was obvious it would revolve around the bicycle. After researching the cycling cultures of the world's cycling capitals, such as Copenhagen, Amsterdam or Portland, I turned to the Beirut scene and conducted surveys and interviewed cyclists in the city. I started by summarizing my findings and research into a paper about the emerging bicycle culture of Beirut. You can read it by clicking on the link below.
The kitMy final result of my graduation project, and my personal contribution to getting more people onto bicycles in Beirut, was ABCycling, a printed guide and toolkit for urban cycling in Beirut. It offers a wide range of information and advice, from general info about equipment and the types of bikes to be found in Beirut to specific issues to be considered when embarking on a cycling journey in the city. There's also a strong personal element, with reflections on the pleasures and pains of cycling in Beirut from myself and other cyclists. For example, there is a section on 'gender-related' issues, which I have encountered and reflected on considerably in the past four years.
In essence, in creating this guide I wanted to answer all the questions anyone might have about how to start cycling in this city.
ABCycling in Beirut is my graphic design graduation project and consequently the result of a detailed design process as well as a real labour of love, with each design choice having to be justified to myself and to my professors! I absolutely don't regret the effort, though, because the end result is a true reflection of my passion for both design and cycling. It is filled with with my hand-drawn illustrations. The cover and the tote bag the guide comes in are both screen-printed, a mechanical, manual process that mirrors the mechanical action of pedalling.
Beirut is a city full of surprises. Every time I take my bicycle out for a spin, I notice new things, discover new things and interact with people differently. This is why I chose to fill the guide with surprises - foldout posters and booklets that pop out of the guide as you read through it, just as the city streets will spring a surprise on you when you're rolling through them peacefully on your bicycle.
Have a peak into the guide at this link:
For the printing, I chose recycled paper that backs up the green message and reflects the environmentally-conscious behavior that the guide advocates for. The cover is screen-printed recycled chip-board. The binding is a Japanese-style artisanal handmade binding that adds to the uniqueness and beauty of the book.
I imagined how cyclists might want carry the guide around with them while cycling, trying to discover a new bike shop or going on a bike ride, so I designed a screen-printed tote bag that would house the guide and all its little goodies (stickers, posters, maps, etc.).
The bigger pictureThe aim of this crowdfunding campaign is to cover the cost of a print run of at least 300 copies of the guide and make it available in selected bike shops and bookstores.
More importantly, the guide is one of a range of initiatives that encourage cycling as an alternative to the car, thus contributing to a greener Beirut,
a Beirut with less car exhausts, more space on the streets, less frustration... Not only does encouraging Beirutis to cycle constitute an environmental message, I also see the social implications, empowering women and steering towards a
more egalitarian society as well as a healthier lifestyle. Just imagine a concrete example to illustrate how this guide fits in to this agenda:
A friend gets you a copy of ABCycling for a friend > you buy a bicycle > you start commuting to work by bicycle > you save on gas, parking, and gym subscription > you starts arriving on time to work, making your life more efficient > your colleagues start cycling to work too > company installs a bike rack at the office....
Your contribution will fund the first print run of 300 copies of the guide and its goodies, the cost of producing the messenger bags and t-shirts, and delivering the lovely rewards to you, wherever you are in Beirut (if you're elsewhere I'll post it), with the fantastic Deghri Messengers.
Exposure so far
2016 The guide was presented at Pecha Kucha Beirut Volume 24.
2014 The guide was exhibited at Beirut Design Week's Newcomer's Exhibition in 2014.
There are no updates for this project yet.