One woman’s mission to make bike-shares safer

One woman’s mission to make bike-shares safer


If you get hit by a car and you land on your head and you’re
not wearing a helmet. You can get anything from a goose
egg to a concussion or you can die. I’m Isis Shiffer. I’m an industrial
designer. I run a consultancy called Spitfire
Industry. She’s really motivated by seeing opportunities to make things better. Traditional bike helmets are quite expensive. They don’t biodegrade and they don’t recycle they just sit
for ten thousand years and they’re big, their bulky you
don’t want to carry them around so try and hit all of those three problems was sort of the starting goal because once you have the problem
then you know what to do. EcoHelmet is a recyclable foldable bike helmet specifically directed at bike share users. What makes the helmet work is that
the honeycomb pattern addresses the head
perpendicular from all angles so it will absorb a blow. No matter where it comes
from. EcoHelmet hits a lot of things that
I love. Bikes, sustainability, weird materials and functionality. I’m really big into cycling and I think bike share is really great but I do see a lot of people
being scared to ride. Having easy access to bikes is great but not having easy access to
helmets seemed like a big gap. This is the most important part to
me. I think that cities are best experienced either on foot or on a bike. She was great at attacking coming up with a solution and then being able to back up and say not quite and then try it again and again and again until it gets to where it needs to be. EcoHelmet was concepted about three years ago, well the design it was sort of a burst project when I was studying in London. It takes enormous commitment. Everybody thinks that it just dumps out of your head finished and I don’t think it’s happened for anybody that way. The hand prototypes that I made were probably like six to eight different iterations before I nailed something
that I thought was worthwhile. The factory iterations is maybe
another dozen and I was able to crash test it and get a sense that the material
was sound. Since then it’s been trying to figure out how to make it in a
sustainable manner that isn’t rediculously expensive and also works. The James Dyson Award is the design
Award that everybody wants to win. Everybody enters it. That and this one’s no strings it’s
just solve a problem and show it to us which is really
nice. It is an amazing platform I’d say maybe more of a catapult. It recognizes your idea. Getting the recognition from this
award opened a lot of doors for me. It promotes your idea. Let me get an office, let me hire
people, let me take this a little bit more
seriously. Because then your phone starts
ringing. But it’s always amazing to think
that somebody else sees what at that time was a student product. It was developed but not finished and thinks it’s worthwhile. And that was very very validating. I want to make things that A. Make the world more beautiful and B. Solve actual problems. And it is important to step back and just be like, wow I’m making things that go into the world and give people pleasure or health benefits or ease of life. And that’s a nice feeling and being able to sort of keep on
top of that is important.