Funded! This project was successfully funded on May 24, 2013.

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A pedal-powered soundsystem, public art + design project, and cycling initiative on three wheels.

Vancouver Critical Mass x Bike Month 2010. Apex of Lions Gate Bridge. Photo by Roxanne King.
Vancouver Critical Mass x Bike Month 2010. Apex of Lions Gate Bridge. Photo by Roxanne King.

MY DREAM

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.

"SOUNDTRAVEL" Cycling Tour #1 - Vancouver to Los Angeles.
"SOUNDTRAVEL" Cycling Tour #1 - Vancouver to Los Angeles.

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.

BBQ Picnic at Crab Park for Dane's birthday. Photo by Lukas Peet.
BBQ Picnic at Crab Park for Dane's birthday. Photo by Lukas Peet.

WHY MUSIC?

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.

DJing on the Plant DJ Table by MAKEUSE. Photo by Oliver Li.
DJing on the Plant DJ Table by MAKEUSE. Photo by Oliver Li.

WHY BIKES?

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.

Me and my Garlatti on Granville Island. Photo by ESL'N.
Me and my Garlatti on Granville Island. Photo by ESL'N.

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”.

Version 1.0 newly built at 221A Artist Run Centre. Photo by MAKEUSE.
Version 1.0 newly built at 221A Artist Run Centre. Photo by MAKEUSE.

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.

Flyer photography for past events held in Vancouver by THE DJ TRIKE.
Flyer photography for past events held in Vancouver by THE DJ TRIKE.

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.
Salvaged tricycle from Beijing, China via Sam Carter. Photo by Alexander Suvajac.
Salvaged tricycle from Beijing, China via Sam Carter. Photo by Alexander Suvajac.

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.

Featured and published in the Worldwide Cycling Atlas, 2012. Photo by MAKEUSE.
Featured and published in the Worldwide Cycling Atlas, 2012. Photo by MAKEUSE.

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.

Urban intervention at Pigeon Park. Photo by Ian Azariah.
Urban intervention at Pigeon Park. Photo by Ian Azariah.

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.
Stainless steel tubular chassis frame and container system.
Stainless steel tubular chassis frame and container system.

YOUR REWARDS

With your pledges, THE DJ TRIKE will be cruising again in style and with ease. 

LEVEL 1 REWARDS - SWAG
LEVEL 1 REWARDS - SWAG
LEVEL 2 REWARDS - ACCESSORIES
LEVEL 2 REWARDS - ACCESSORIES
LEVEL 3 REWARDS - SERVICES
LEVEL 3 REWARDS - SERVICES
LEVEL 4 REWARDS - EXPERIENCES
LEVEL 4 REWARDS - EXPERIENCES

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 Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

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.

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    #1. STICKER + BUTTON - "Soundtravel With THE DJ TRIKE Mobile Soundsystem" 4" sticker in black and 1" button in white.

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    9 backers

    #2. SPOKE CARD - "Soundtravel Soundsystem" waterproof, double-sided spoke card to display on your favorite bike wheel.

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    5 backers

    #3. TURNTABLE SLIPMAT - "TDT Flags" slipmat in black for your wheels of steel to keep you spinning smoothly all day and night.

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    #4. USB KEY - With laser-engraved logo of THE DJ TRIKE banner. 2GB of storage space held conveniently on your key ring - always with you when when you need it most.

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    #5. TANK TOP - "Soundtravel Soundsystem" unisex big-pocket oversized tank from American Apparel and screen-printed by hand by yours truly. This ring-spun cotton tank top style features a loose fit for those hot summer days. Available in one size and in white only.

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    #6. TOTE BAG + SWAG - "Soundtravel with THE DJ TRIKE Mobile Soundsystem" poly-cotton shoulder tote from American Apparel and screen-printed by hand by yours truly, for your everyday carrying needs. Plus, receive all pledge rewards $20 and below: USB Key, Turntable Slipmat, Spoke Card, Sticker, and Button.

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    #7. DJ 101 LESSONS - 2 X 1 hour private sessions for one. Will travel to an indoor or outdoor location of your choosing to teach you basic DJing on THE DJ TRIKE one-on-one. At this time, lessons are available in Vancouver area only. Plus, receive all pledge rewards $25 and below: Tank Top, USB Key, Turntable Slipmat, Spoke Card, Sticker, and Button.

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    #8. DJ 101 LESSONS - 3 X 1 hour private sessions for you and a friend. Will travel to an indoor or outdoor location of your choosing to teach you and a friend basic DJing on THE DJ TRIKE at the same time. At this time, lessons are available in Vancouver area only. Plus, you and your friend will receive all pledge rewards $25 and below: Tank Top, USB Key, Turntable Slipmat, Spoke Card, Sticker, and Button.

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    #9. RENT THE DJ TRIKE - Planning a party or a special event? Indoors or outdoors? Not a problem, THE DJ TRIKE's got your soundsystem covered. Trike rental valid for 5 hours. At this time, rentals are available in Vancouver area only.

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    #10. RENT THE DJ TRIKE + DJ - Planning a party or a special event? Indoors or outdoors? Need a DJ to spin some tunes? No problem, THE DJ TRIKE's got your soundsystem and DJ covered. Trike rental and DJ services valid for 5 hours. At this time, rentals and services are available in Vancouver area only.

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    #11. RENT THE DJ TRIKE + DJ + VJ - Planning a party or a special event? Indoors or outdoors? Need a DJ to spin some tunes and a VJ to project video? No problem, THE DJ TRIKE's got your soundsystem, DJ and VJ covered. Trike rental and DJ & VJ services valid for 5 hours. At this time, rentals and services are available in Vancouver area only.

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    #12. I WILL TRAVEL TO YOUR CITY IN THE WEST - Got a special event or project idea that THE DJ TRIKE would be perfect for? I will go to a location of your choosing anywhere in the West of the USA and provide any of the services listed in LEVEL 3 REWARDS. Plus, you will receive all pledge rewards $50 and below: Tote Bag, Tank Top, USB Key, Turntable Slipmat, Spoke Card, Sticker, and Button.

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    #13. I WILL TRAVEL TO YOUR CITY IN THE MIDWEST - Got a special event or project idea that THE DJ TRIKE would be perfect for? I will go to a location of your choosing anywhere in the Midwest of the USA and provide any of the services listed in LEVEL 3 REWARDS. Plus, you will receive all pledge rewards $50 and below: Tote Bag, Tank Top, USB Key, Turntable Slipmat, Spoke Card, Sticker, and Button.

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    #14. I WILL TRAVEL TO YOUR CITY IN THE SOUTH OR THE NORTHEAST - Got a special event or project idea that THE DJ TRIKE would be perfect for? I will go to a location of your choosing anywhere in the South or Northeast of the USA and provide any of the services listed in LEVEL 3 REWARDS. Plus, you will receive all pledge rewards $50 and below: Tote Bag, Tank Top, USB Key, Turntable Slipmat, Spoke Card, Sticker, and Button.

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Funding period

- (30 days)