A new family status mobile
Critic, curator and museum director Aaron Betsky is the architecture world’s ultimate insider and tastemaker. He curated the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2008, ran Rotterdam’s Netherlands Architecture Institute from 2001-2006 and these days, helms the Cincinnati Art Museum. Look for him Thursdays on the Editors’ Blog, where he’ll be design spotting for W.
On a recent trip to Amsterdam I was almost run over. And not by a truck or a Range Rover but by a harried mom on a bike, carrying a load of blond-haired tykes to a soccer game. Her vehicle of choice was the “bakfiets,” a new version of the old cargo bike, which has a plywood box mounted on the front, the better to show off your kids. And the Queen of the Road was not alone: the bakfiets has become the family status mobile of the Netherlands.
Not only is it easy on the planet, the bakfiets is big enough to seat up to three kids strapped into their car seats, with room left over for the groceries. No more Mommy Vans or Sprawl Rovers. It helps if your daily rounds are measured in kilometers, not miles, and involve the kind of dedicated bike lanes that cities around the U.S.—in imitation of the Netherlands—are now installing. Talk about mom power.
This model (about $3,000) is available in the States via Dutch Bike Co.
Check back on Thursday for Aaron’s next blog.