Le Corbusier once wrote that "creation is a patient search" and for industrial designers before the age of Kickstarter and Indiegogo, it really was- a search for funding, for marketing, for manufacturing capabilities. It can take years. TreeHugger Warren first described the Sandwich Bike in 2006, writing:
Inspired by IKEA, the Sandwich Bike comes flat packed in a cardboard box. Two wooden plate sides are secured through four identical ‘smart cylinders’, which house the cranks and such forth. The weld-less frame and components all assemble with a single tool. This is designed to reduce transport and construction costs, with the intention of more bikes for more people. Simply gorgeous.
In 2011, the designers at Bleijh industrial design studio finally found the right partners and founded the Pedalfactory to produce the bike. Now, finally, you can pre-order it. Graham Hiemstra of Cool Hunting spoke to the designers in Milan and reports:
Upon its first introduction the mostly wood, flat-packable bicycle generated quite a bit of buzz, with email and phone inquiries going to the agency on a weekly basis ever since—but it was strictly an after-hours side project taken on by some of the agency's lead designers. So, just a few short months ago, an autonomous side company was established to bring Sandwichbike to market. Powered by a passion for their product, Sandwichbike designer and engineer Ite Kingma neatly sums it up: "If you want to create something you should create with full belief and full quality."
Back in 2006 the bike was supposed to be really cheap, and part of an aid program. Warren wrote:
As we understand it, their idea is to craft a bike twice as cheap as standard models. This will allow the purchaser to basically buy two for the price of one. He/She keeps one, while another can be shipped to developing countries to provide much needed transport, such as enabling rural kids to cover long distances to school. Their vision being that a donation of mobility, unlike money, will not be subject to corruption.
No word on the website if there is still an aid component attached, or if it is "twice as cheap." Preorder yours at Sandwichbike.