by Charlie Bestall on February 28, 2010

Having not studied design I cannot pretend to understand the significance of all Dieter Rams work, however his principle of good design being ‘as little design as possible’ is something I have witnessed firsthand in the evolution of products created to help youngsters learn to ride bicycles.

Whilst going through this boyhood initiation I had stabilizers added to my bike so that I wouldn’t have to worry about balancing straightaway and could instead concentrate on getting to grips with the peddling, steering and braking.

It can however be argued that balance is the skill most needed when riding a bike and thus should be learnt first. The idea of pedaling to increase speed, steering to move in the right direction and braking to slow down all come secondary to this core skill and can be mastered later on.

The genius of the Like-a-bike design is that rather than complicate a bicycle by adding an additional element (stabilizers) the pedals, cranks and chain have been removed. This simplified design allows the brain to concentrate fully on balancing and steering.

The Like-a-bike shows that looking to remove something and use ‘as little design as possible’ can be more effective than looking to add further components, no matter how logical that addition may seem.

About the author: this article was written by Charlie Bestall a communications professional and design enthusiast from Bristol, England. You can reach me with any questions, suggestions or ideas at

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

innovation500 May 12, 2011 at 5:13 am

great!! it will nice for decorative element too.


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