:: Specific Design Brief

Practical Action 6: Carrying Equipment - further information


The bicycle seat for a bicycle taxi for a Paravet to use out of season
The design context.

Design and make an improved seat for bicycle taxis used in western Kenya.

Jeremiah feels there is a need for a dual-purpose bicycle for the paravets, who have little work during the dry season from July onwards. He thinks they could run bicycle taxis during those months, using the same bicycles. He suggested the possibility of designing a proper seat for a bicycle taxi. The panniers could be removed to carry goods and the rack could hold a passenger seat. Ideas that need to be borne in mind are:

the fact that women ride side saddle, men astride
the need for a comfortable, cushioned seat that could perhaps be turned and locked according to the sex of the passenger
the need for footrests to stop feet dragging or catching on the ground
the need to prevent anything catching in the rear wheel spokes - some protection needed
the need to strengthen the back wheel in some way to carry the additional weight
could the back wheel be made smaller without affecting performance?
would be best if the seat was capable both of adjustment and removal

More help:
Background information
Bicycle taxis
Ideas and materials

A back support for carrying firewood, farm produce

The design context.

Design and make a more comfortable, less strenuous method for carrying firewood or water for a person travelling by foot.

Women have heavy burdens to carry every day. They collect water, carry firewood, and carry young children. They may spend many hours every day searching for and bringing home firewood. The only means of support the poor women use is a headband that is tied around the forehead and temple and then bound round the firewood in bundles on their backs. There is massive pressure on the forehead and scalp and the women are bent double by the weight of the wood on their backs. Jeremiah thinks a method of supporting wood, keeping it from digging into both back and head would be a great asset, as long as it was cheap and effective.