CycleHack Toolbox #1: Barrier Cards

Matthew Lowell News 0 Comments

The best way to form a solution is to really understand the problem!


Here at CycleHack HQ we believe that in order to develop innovative solutions that have meaning and purpose for those who use and experience them, you have to first start from the beginning – and that usually means getting up close and personal with the core of the problem.

Since launching CycleHack in 2014 we have invested a lot of time, energy and tongue power into researching and collecting problems that surround the experience of cycling. We call these barriers! These can be small things to big things and often differ from person to person, and from social context to the next. So far we have had hundreds, possibly even thousands, of deep conversations with all types of people who use our streets, and uncovered a massive number of specific things that get in the way of cycling. Now with a global movement behind us we’re having these conversations all around the world in 25+ cities.

But what is the use of a conversation if it goes no further than the words spoken? We quickly realised that in order to progress conversations into action we needed to capture, display and share these barriers in a compelling way. We want that motivate people to do something about them. To not get stuck in the negative, but rather spot the opportunities. We want people to take a good look and understand what all of the different things that stop people from getting on their bikes.

To do this we developed the CycleHack Barrier Card.


What does it look like?


How do you use it?

To allow for others to research, capture and display there own barrier to cycling we released blank barrier cards to all CycleHacking cities around the world. Each city invited cyclists, pedestrians, drivers, train operators and all others that use our streets to share their barriers to cycling. This simple paper tool asks participants to name a barrier to cycling, for them to doodle what this looks like, circle what type if issue this is and name who is involved; and it has revolutionised how we begin design a better future for cycling.


How others have used it!

Here at CycleHack HQ we are really excited to see how others have taken inspiration from our barrier cards and created their own adaptations. A few weeks ago we saw problem cards being used in Bergen to explore the issues that surround the production and consumption of food.

“Friday started with a problem brainstorming, not a brainstorming for ideas, which probably was the expectation. To be able to come up with good solutions, however, a principle in Design Thinking is to look deeper into the problem (ask the five whys) before you even start to think about the solution. You need to go out, put on the anthropologist’s goggles, and ask people what they think, observe how they react and act in real life situations. This seems logical, however the human mind is made in such a way that we want work on solutions straight away, often based on assumptions about problems rather than facts and reality.

The participants were asked to write down food related problems they found interesting or intriguing on problem cards and then to hang the cards on a washing line.”


Read more about it here: http://www.climate-kic.org/blog/gronn-grundercamp-48-hours-for-new-sustainable-food-solutions/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *