About this project
Building the next DJ TRIKE is just the KICKSTARTER! Upon a successful launch, my immediate plan with the new and improved DJ TRIKE is to go on a cycling tour down the westcoast of the USA, starting in Vancouver, British Columbia and ending in Los Angeles, California. This “SOUNDTRAVEL” cycling tour is just the first adventure among many to come.
My ultimate dream for THE DJ TRIKE is to continue to travel and DJ everywhere and anywhere I can around the world, documenting each journey so that everyone can follow along. From big cities to remote villages, and to the most unimaginable locations in between, on and off-the-grid. Just imagine the possibilities: deserts, forests, beaches, mountains, jungles, islands, even building rooftops and skyscrapers!
MY VISION AND MISSION
My vision for THE DJ TRIKE is to create a public service, live platform and interface for creating communal experiences that are meaningful, memorable, enjoyable and can be shared with the world. I see this project as my way of changing the world around me to become a more playful, friendlier and healthier place to live.
My mission for THE DJ TRIKE is to ride it as a tool for helping one envision a more sustainable world filled with music and bikes. I want to promote this pedal-powered project as an initiative that challenges the status quo. Ultimately, I want to help create a global green future starting with music and bikes as mediums for cross-cultural understanding and respect.
Music resonates within us all. In every society, the primary function of music is collective and communal, to bring and unite people together. People sing and dance together in every culture. Music can also heal the body and uplift the soul. This primal role of music in everyday life is to some extent lost today. One has to go to a concert, a church or a musical festival to recapture the collective energy and bonding of music. The world needs more music and dancing.
Growing up as a child in the early 90s, listening to music was a creative outlet for me. At an early age, I was drawn to my family’s home boombox, playing music from my parent’s music collection and pretending to be a radio DJ with my brother, Jason. Music was not only my friend but it also became a part of me that later inspired me to pick up DJing. It has been a passion of mine now for over a decade and has empowered me by giving me a voice and a creative way to express myself.
Bikes are fun, healthy, simple, and an efficient way of getting around. In a world that continues to become more urban and more dense, cycling helps to create a better sense of local community, identity and pride. Cycling is also a direct indicator and symbol of change. When people adopt velo-centric culture, knowing or unknowingly, the city becomes more sustainable in terms of transportation, but even more so in terms of quality of life and lifestyle. The world needs more bikes and less cars.
For me, biking is not only a form of transportation but is also an active form of meditation. Cycling allows me to slow down, to think, reflect, and connect with my life's day-to-day happenings. My bike has become a friend and a loyal companion. Inspired by how bicycles and tricycles are used in different cultures and throughout history worldwide, I see that cycling is currently re-shaping our cities and how we experience and live in them.
WHAT IS THE DJ TRIKE?
THE DJ TRIKE is a customized tricycle built to suite the needs of today's mobile and nomadic DJ. Designed to consider all aspects of living, working and playing, this pedal-driven and battery-powered vehicle is equipped to transport the DJ's essential gear. THE DJ TRIKE is not only the transportation device but is also a launchpad that allows its user to mobilize a live audience instantly through the various social media formats available today. DJ anywhere. At any anytime. “Off-the-grid”.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
THE DJ TRIKE is more than just a mobile DJ booth and soundsystem on wheels. It has thoughtfully been equipped, designed and curated over the years to become a communal platform, interactive interface and launchpad for impromptu DJ sets, live performances and special events.
Inspired by the phenomena of "flashmob" and "pop-up" events, THE DJ TRIKE is able to mobilize a live audience instantly and create a collective environment based on sensory stimuli. Each experience can be broadcasted live, streamed over the Internet, and shared and archived for the rest of the world to view.
By activating and transforming public space from a neutral space into a collective, memorable place, THE DJ TRIKE helps to redefine and re-envision how one experiences and moves through the city.
WHERE IT STARTED
THE DJ TRIKE project was born in 2009 as my final thesis project while attending university in Vancouver, BC, Canada. But the thinking behind it began two years prior while studying and researching a year abroad - the first half being in the Philippines and the second half in the Netherlands.
What fascinated me the most living overseas, in two very different countries with varying histories, societies and geographies, was observing how people moved from point A to point B in everyday life. Major city centers in each country provide their own unique systems of public transit, yet in both cultures bicycles and tricycles play a prominent role. Bicycles are treated as transportation tools, and for some a necessary means for livelihood, not as cultural statements or for sport or leisure alone. Most of all, cycling was for everyone!
With a fresh take on design and a renewed sense of meaning, I traveled back to North America to begin dreaming up my final thesis project. I knew I wanted to create a project that would somehow embody my experience abroad as well as keep me interested for an extended period of time but how, I asked myself? There was my challenge. So I began the project by setting three simple guidelines that would help me get started:
- 1. It had to be fun and playful.
- 2. It had to be socially engaged.
- 3. It had to be public and accessible.
WHERE THE PROJECT IS AT
Three years later, not knowing where the project would end up, the THE DJ TRIKE has become a local celebrity, public street fixture, as well as one solution for Vancouver's “no-fun-city” reputation, and not to mention a remedy to cure the rainy winter blues. In addition to building a close-knit community and local fan following, THE DJ TRIKE has received press from numerous blogs, locally and internationally, even from the likes of CBC Radio 3, and was recently selected by Selle Royal as a featured cycling initiative to be published in their annual Worldwide Cycling Atlas.
Vancouver has been an incredible test city and urban playground for THE DJ TRIKE, and I am grateful for all the experiences I’ve had riding it amongst new and old friends. The project would be nothing without the support and help from those people. From Critical Mass and Velopalooza themed rides, to art openings, design exhibitions and outdoor flashmob dance parties, the memories of beach DJ sessions and late night bike rides home make all the heavy pedalling worthwhile.
WHERE YOU COME IN
Due to a combination of transporting such a heavy load, the tricycle's poorly built and out of date parts, as well as unstandardized component sizing, I am limited to what can be fixed when it breaks down and where it can travel -- no long distances and up hills for THE DJ TRIKE :( Breaking down on the side of the road and running late to a DJ gig is one thing but running out of battery power while DJing is much worse. All of these issues, as one could imagine, can instantly kill the party vibe and joy of riding worry-free.
Despite the tricycle’s rugged aesthetic, occasional mechanical breakdown and power failure, THE DJ TRIKE has truly taken a life on its own, showing its true character and personality through all its scratches and dents. This is where your generous support and contributions come in. I have invested over four years building this project with my own hands from the ground up without the need of outside funding. All the profits I have made through DJing has been reinvested back into the TRIKE to keep it maintained and on the streets. For THE DJ TRIKE’s adventure to continue I now have to ask for the world’s assistance. Your pledges will go toward:
- 1. Rebuilding the tricycle frame to fit modern components that can be fully serviceable or replaced at any bike shop.
- 2. An electric assist kit to expand its reach and ability to travel longer distances and through different terrains.
- 3. Building the modular chassis and container system for storing and transporting the DJ gear, sound system and other equipment so that they can easily and safely be loaded, unloaded and protected when not in use.
- 4. Upgrade to lithium batteries to power all of the equipment (they are smaller in size, weigh less, last longer, and are more powerful).
- 5. A camping sized solar panel and a controller for the the direct drive hub's regenerative braking system to help keep all batteries charged and topped off while on the move.
- 6. A GoPro video camera for better documentation and a pocket video projector to present videos and photos to the people that I meet.
- 7. A mobile, high-speed Wi-fi connection to maintain access to the Internet for sharing THE DJ TRIKE’s adventures online 24/7.
With your pledges, THE DJ TRIKE will be cruising again in style and with ease.
PROJECT TIMELINE 2013
JUNE - Begin building THE DJ TRIKE 2.0.
JULY - Testing and refining design. First Critical Mass bike ride.
AUGUST - Trip planning, preparing and training.
SEPTEMBER - SOUNDTRAVEL - North Westcoast, USA.
OCTOBER - SOUNDTRAVEL - Mid Westcoast, USA.
NOVEMBER - SOUNDTRAVEL - South Westcoast, USA .
DECEMBER - Cycling Tour #1 ends. Adventure to be continued...
Thank you for checking out my KICKSTARTER project and I hope to see you on the streets!
"LIFE IS LIKE RIDING A BICYCLE. IN ORDER TO KEEP YOUR BALANCE, YOU MUST KEEP ON MOVING." ~ ALBERT EINSTEIN
Risks and challenges
Designing and customizing a tricycle for such a unique purpose to be used in the public realm and exposed to the elements can be a great challenge. Having built a diverse portfolio, ranging from home products, retail spaces, custom objects, exhibitions, furniture, artworks and outdoor installations, I am confident working with my hands and navigating the world of materials, construction and manufacturing techniques.
In addition to my own ability, I will be working with friends and collaborators, a local bike frame builder, bike mechanic, and a metal expert that will contribute their wealth of knowledge to help deter any technical challenges that may occur in the process. I have already built relationships with these creative people who are ready to proceed in helping to construct the new DJ TRIKE in a timely manner.
Knowing this project inside and out and having personal experience riding and DJing with it, as well as listening and speaking with others about it for the past three years, I’ve had a lot of time to think about what improvements and changes are needed. In order to successfully travel with THE DJ TRIKE to locations near and far, I have re-designed it with the following considerations in order to negate any logistical challenges that the TRIKE may encounter during its "SOUNDTRAVEL" cycling adventures:
* Designed for Disassembly – able to disassemble and pack flat for travel or shipping, as well as for repairing, refurbishing and recycling.
* Accessibility – as lightweight as possible, manageable sized and dimensioned for manoeuvrability for both outdoor and indoor use.
* Connectivity and Reach – Wi-Fi enabled and radio transmitting for social media mobilization and live audio and video streaming.
* Modular System – interchangeable chassis for multi-functional transportation purposes (utilitarian cargo trailer or flatbed when not in DJ TRIKE mode).
* Weatherproof – appropriate materials are chosen to withstand and protect from outdoor elements when traveling through varying terrain, climates and environments.
* Energy Efficient – pedal-powered, electric-assisted and self-sufficient for off-the-grid situations. Batteries recharged with help of camping-sized solar panel and controller for regenerative braking system.
* Safety – designed to be theft-proof and for deterring vandalism. Also, stability and shock absorption for riding with sensitive equipment over various terrains.
* Hi-Fi Acoustic Soundsystem – crisp, clean, yet robust sound. And more boom to the bass!
Like any public art project, the greatest risk and challenge this project faces is to create something that the public will embrace and stop to think about or even experience. However unconventional THE DJ TRIKE may appear, it was my initial intention to challenge myself to create something to embody my travels abroad, for it to be fun and playful, socially and publicly engaged, and to express myself through music and bikes. With those original intentions alone, I feel that the project is already a success and will only get better in time.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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