David Byrne’s ‘literate’ BAM bike racks face CB2 scrutiny

January 21, 2013 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Haven’t been to BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) lately? Folks attending Community Board 2’s Youth, Education and Cultural Affairs Committee meeting on Wednesday will have a chance to check out the design of two whimsical bike racks installed outside the BAM Opera House late August. The racks were designed by David Byrne, best known as a member of the Talking Heads.

The racks are modular, and with some limitations, can be rearranged to spell out different messages. For now, the racks spell out “pink crown” (to the left of the entrance) and “micro lip” (to the right).

“When designing these bike racks, I wondered how I could make something that was modular, yet variable—a design that wouldn’t always look the same and could vary depending on season and placement,” Byrne said in a release this past August, when the racks were initially installed.

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“I realized that a few very basic shapes—a semi circle, a line, and a V shape—would allow one to make a good percentage of the letters of our alphabet. With help and advice from Dero Bike Racks, we figured out how these components could be easily and quickly swapped out to spell different words. For example, the letters could spell out the productions at BAM or any random message for that matter.”

Keith Stubblefield, CFO and VP of finance and administration for BAM will present the design; the committee’s review is for recommendation to the Public Design Commission

The meeting takes place Wednesday, January 23, 6 p.m. in the Jonas Board Room, Metcalfe Hall, Long Island University, at Flatbush and DeKalb avenues.

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