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Cycle of success

There was a great article in the Guardian yesterday by the designers of the Brompton bike, What was so interesting was that fact that willingly admitted their early failings, and that they are still not satisfied with the end product.

There was a great article in the Guardian yesterday by the designers of the Brompton bike, What was so interesting was that fact that willingly admitted their early failings, and that they are still not satisfied with the end product. It may seem pretty clever, but they are convinced it could be better.

There are several lessons for architects, beyond the love that so many architects have for cycling. First of all, those early errors – the first bikes started to fall apart after a few years, and inventor Andrew Ritchie believes his salvation came from the fact that, without funding, he just hadn’t made or sold many.

Architects see faults in their buildings all the time, even if there is a tendency to blame other members of the team. But admitting your errors and being willing to learn from them is wise, if at times expensive.

But what is truly refreshing is how much more the designers want to do. How, having invented the first truly portable and foldable bike, they just want it to be more foldable and more portable. Inspirational.

By the way, does anybody understand why Tunbridge Wells railway station has rentable Brompton bikes? Surely not to take on the train, as you could rent a Boris bike at the other end. And isn’t there another rack to park them in, rather than having to carry them around all day?

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