I bike almost everyday in New York City. Because of work and school, I am often on the road late at night so road safety is a big concern. But even with LED headlights and taillights (as required by law), drivers seldom seem to pay much attention to those who travel on two wheels.
The Heart Bike Jacket is designed to bring a level of human-ness to my bike gear. By mimicking the shape of a real human heart, I hope to remind drivers behind me that I’m not just a nuisance on the road; I’m also a living human being, subject to the hazards of the road and much less protected than the driver.
I set out by illustrating vector shapes of the human heart and the various components of this complex organ based on 3D computer renders:
I then lasercut layers of frosted and clear acrylic, building in tiny holes for alignment.
Initially, I was unaware of the effects of epoxy on the EL panel, so I accidentally destroyed my first sample.
When I re-attempted, I scaled-up the pieces (in order to maximize the area of the EL panel), added additional holes along the edges in order to secure them together with thread, and used tape to attach the panel to the acrylic instead. The precut holes also allowed the light to be sewn directly onto the jacket.
Here is a video I created to showcase the Heart Bike Jacket: