Using his brand Goetgheluck, Jean-Baptiste as a dedicated cyclist is trying to solve the theft problems in Belgium with his new project. He lived in Beirut for three years, but then he decided to come back to Brussels and improve what can be improved.
What is your practice about and of what product you're less proud of?
I've been working for three years for a Lebanese company called PSLab, where I've been designing technical lighting fixtures. For a long time, I wanted to work on a project, which will be related to cycling, because I love to cycle. I consider it's the easiest form of transport within the city, even in Beirut. Gradually I started noticing the problem with bike theft in the cities, especially here in Brussels. People are trying to solve this issue with Villo box, however, I have a feeling that it wasn't the perfect solution. It wasn't beautiful in the city, it's difficult to integrate and expensive. Therefore, I started to investigate the additional answer for this problem, and I created variety of mockups until I finally managed to get to the satisfactory one. It's a classic bollard. You place your bike on it, you log in either with your phone or with your card and secure your bike. It's somewhere in between bicycle hoop and bike box. Now, I'm trying to examine if the users are confident enough to leave their bikes in this device for at least one night. The goal, for this year, is to have 50 hooks implemented in the city. I applied for a fund, so I'm waiting now for the money. I need a lot of money to materialize it: for the software, for the electronics and so on.
And to the second part of the question I can't really answer (laughter). Once, I was asked to design a very innovative lamp by using big transformer and a huge reflector with massive LED chip. I tried to do it as much accurately as possible, but the final object was just ugly. The goal was to make it small, but it was just impossible with materials like that. It was a disaster. Eventually, the production was stopped because we all agreed that even it was a good exercise, it' s not satisfactory.
My first motivation was to please myself. Because it's satisfying when you think of something and you subsequently materialize it.
What was your biggest motivation to become a designer? Is it possible to live from this occupation?