Someone told me once, on the subject of nationality design teams: "If you have a team with only Dutch designers, they just want to design bikes." I found this ridiculous then and even more so every time I share this story. Having said so (and I know I am kicking my own story in the shin), I did, when asked to decorate a restaurant, design a bike. Don't judge me for my Dutchness. It just was the best solution.
Working with a multifaceted team in order to design, redecorate and reshape a dining experience in Restaurant Floreyn, TMRW was asked to provide artwork for the otherwise bland walls of the interior. However, the strong concept of the branding was so well laid out by our architectural team mates  that every intrusion seemed not only futile but simply... stupid. Like decorating your first time student flat with pictures from Ikea.
The restaurant itself serves Dutch cuisine . Locally grown products, long forgotten classics and the stuff your grandma used to make if your grandma happened to be some sort of mad scientist. This stems, in part, from the chef's extensive knowledge of chemistry and personal interest in Dutch history. After considering an array of visuals ranging from historical figures to computer rendered bio-decor it dawned on us that it should participate with the rest of the interiour rather than just exists in it, and be... a bike of some sorts.
The interior design of Restaurant Floreyn
Apart from hanging a bike from the wall, wich says absolutely nothing but stating that you own a bike, there is little you can do with such a mundain item. This is where the aforementioned anecdote came in. Sure you can design a bike or make use of one. But as a resemblence of reference to a culture there is a more submerged (mind the pun) element to it. All the Dutch cities I have lived in so far have three things in common: studentfolk, canals and bicycles. The first make ample use of the latter. And where the three connect you get this:
Fishing for bikes in the canals of Amsterdam
93% of the people of the city of Leiden own a bike , three of the seven busiest bikepaths are located in the city of Utrecht . The city of Amsterdam scrapes around 15.000 bike wrecks a year from the bottom of its canals . This always fascinated me. The canal water fusing frames together as if trying to absorbing the metal making it a new amorph lifeform. Much like a tubular metal version of the 80's cult classic the Thing eating Duchamps Bicycle Wheel.
Sculpting art from bikes with Ursus Igneus
Much like riding a bike there is a certain freedom in creation. Stemming from the compelxity that is your own brain it seems to be fluidly framed by your own reference. Framed, not limited. Framing can be interchangeble and applied in different contexts, sets or forms can yield results beyond boundries of the imaginable. Making your imagination your own private international design team.