Creator of Innovative Cycle Network Wins Design Prize

The Paul Mijksenaar Award 2013 goes to the man who developed an innovative signposted cycle network based on numbered junctions. In 1995 Hugo Bollen, a former Belgian mining engineer, set out to make wayfinding easier for cyclists.

The focus of Bollen’s cycle network was the intersection where two or more cycling paths cross one another. By giving each of these junctions a specific number, he created a network that allows the cyclist to map out a desired route after determining a starting point and a final destination.

Bicycle node network sign (© Landelijk Fietsplatform)

Remarkably, Bollen is not a designer. The same can be said of both Edward N. Hines (1870-1938), posthumous winner of the Paul Mijksenaar Award 2011, and Harry Beck, the engineering draughtsman who set the standard in 1933 with his London Underground Map. ‘This confirms that the goal is never an aesthetic face-lift but the solution to a problem,’ says Professor Mijksenaar. ‘Bollen’s functional design is further corroboration of that idea.

‘My main objective in awarding this prize,’ he continues, ‘is to appeal to both designers and their clients for a better understanding of the greatest strength of design, which is function.’

Presentation of the Paul Mijksenaar Award 2013 will take place in the auditorium of the University of Amsterdam on Thursday, November 21, 2013, as part of ‘Design for Function’, an event organized by the Wim Crouwel Institute.
Online registration for those wishing to attend the ceremony.

Download press release (PDF, 102 KB)

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