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Student Showcase Archive

Robert Dooley

MA work

MA work

London's Bike 2040

A personalised public transportation vision.

This project is a shared public bicycle hire system for 2040 that increases cycling rates by offering a tailored experience that is bespoke to individual users. This is achieved by combining advanced manufacturing and automated assembly, so the bicycle self-adjusts to the individual's size and riding style as they approach. This is supported by a modular storage system, so the rider can attach the storage they need, when they need it. 

The concept seeks to engage individuals emotionally, building a relationship between both the person and the vehicle system, but also with other riders. Drawing inspiration from 'The Knowledge' the User Interface (UI), which prioritises sound and haptic communication over the visual, connects riders to share both local navigation and points of interest information, building a sense of community throughout the system.

The bicycle UI quietly informs the rider of useful local environmental and health information, including pollution, UV and pollen levels, as well as offering the option for riders to, if they wish, display information collected by their own wearable technology products.

Today, public transportation largely fails to offer the quality of experience that private automotive solutions do. Through a revolution in transportation design methods and manufacturing, it might just be that tomorrow, the public becomes premium.


Mass-customisation is common in automotive design as it provides the opportunity for manufacturers to adapt the configuration of mass produced parts in order to offer better quality user experiences. Such customisation is rare in public transportation design, which traditionally has to engage from the contrasting perspective, to produce utilitarian solutions that can be used by as many people as possible. This means that whilst public transport solutions offer quick, cheap and sustainable forms of travel, they routinely fail to engage the user on an emotional level. The consequences are that fewer people opt to use public transport.

Today, 4% of people in the United Kingdom cycle everyday. This compares to an EU average of 12%, the highest being the Netherlands at 43%. The small number of regular cyclists in the UK is in part a problem of insufficient infrastructure. This problem is particularly acute in London, which despite recent improvements, is still far from cycle-friendly compared to many other European cities. By 2041 London will have 10.5 million residents and the Mayor's transport strategy aims for 80% of journeys to be made by bicycle, walking or public transport. The increasing number of private, shared bicycle schemes represent a race to the bottom, offering low cost rides at the sacrifice of user data and lack of proper urban planning. They, like public transportation, fail to deliver upon emotional needs.



  • MA Degree


    School of Design


    MA Vehicle Design, 2018

  • I follow a thoughtful design process, incorporating technical research and cultural insight. Through an iterative, 'design through making' approach I shape meaningful forms and aesthetics alongside purposeful functionality and ergonomics. This delivers commercially viable concepts that combine user needs with strong, rational, compelling narratives and design stories.

    My practice covers all aspects of the product development process, from concept through to manufacture. Experience of manufacturing processes is embedded into my practice and I engineer solutions that are accurate, reliable and adhere to relevant standards and regulations.

    My academic interests include:

    - Gender roles in the design studio.

    - The relationship between automotive design and architecture.

    - Political, social and economic critique of contemporary design practice, in particular within the context of the 'post political' age.

    - Modes of production, environmental sustainability and the role of design and the designer within this.

    - The impact of digital design and manufacturing methods upon the industrial design process and business model.

  • Degrees

  • BA (1st Class) Sustainable Product Design, Falmouth University, 2015
  • Experience

  • Technical Designer, Aldworth James and Bond, London, 2016; Industrial Designer, Sessile, Truro, 2015/16; Industrial Designer, Muncaster Technologies, Truro, 2014/15; Industrial Design Intern, BID, Truro, 2012/15
  • Exhibitions

  • Kia Hyundai Design Lab Future Luxury Exhibition, 2017; London Transport Museum GATEway Exhibition, 2016; Bloom, Eden Project, St Austell, 2015; Because I Cannot See, The Poly, Falmouth and Brighton Photo Fringe, 2014
  • Awards

  • Young Designer of the Year, Plastic Industry Awards, 2013