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As the current path of human technological advancement seems to separate us further and further from the natural world, Italian designer Matteo Zugnoni’s Woobi commuter bike is a welcome return to tradition and past simplicity that pushes the boundaries of modern design. The striking material choice of wood, which softens the conventionally harsh and geometric form of a bicycle, aids Zugnoni’s design beyond aesthetic value; although wood is often considered more fragile than metal, it has an enormous capacity for resistance and shock absorption, not unlike steel or carbon fiber. It is also renewable, with the potential to be reused or recycled, which makes the functionality of the material seem endless. Exhibited at Milan design week 2015, Woobi flaunts a Gates carbon drive belt, ensuring state-of-the-art performance. With a broad range of colors to choose from, the bike is also fully customizable from the type of wood used in the frame to bold wheel accents. An elegant approach to sustainability and functionality, Woobi demonstrates a consideration for practically every element of good design. Promoting comfort and a natural interaction between user and product, Zugnoni’s design is a unique interpretation of the relationship between humans and technology.

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Lizzie Wright

​Lizzie Wright is an aspiring artist and designer with a passion for the written word. While she works on her BFA in Industrial Design at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), she spends her (rare) spare time riding around Providence on her trusty Cannondale and drinking lots of coffee. She is especially fascinated by the dichotomy between aesthetic form and function, which has an immense influence on her work. As a lover of the natural world, Lizzie plans to focus on Nature, Culture, and Sustainability Studies to pursue a more efficient future for design. Read more by visiting her website