Melbourne, Australia recently played host to one of Australia’s best respected design events, Design Saturday, amongst numerous new designs, showing priority in function and aesthetic, I came across ‘Timbars’, with the recent surge in Fixed Gear popularity, I took special interest in the product and decided to find out a little more about the product and its designer, Kyran Starcevich.
SXH - Explain the concept behind Timbars?
KY - The interest is in testing the limits of a natural product in an unconventional way. Using strong timber types, such as Oak, Ash, Walnut, the outcome is a naturally formed product challenging the dependence on plastics, metals of contemporary design sensibility. The concept came about out of necessity. I’d acquired an old school racer, but didn’t feel the comfort from the standard set of handle bars. So, i thought of a simple streamed curve possible by dry bent lamination, designed to custom fit my arm stretch to the frame.
The other catalyst for the product, was realising the intense pulse running through the cities now, with the popularity of bikes. It’s crazy, but good crazy. Especially the fixed gear scene, it’s a spreading disease.
Although not a huge fan of killing myself in city traffic, (i like my brakes) i can fully appreciate the style of these classic old frames and there sexy, simple lines.
Not needing brake/gear levers, the bikes are stripped back to their bare beauty. Timbars are very much designed for the ‘fixie’ market. The creative concept was to produce a simple, clean lined classic product for the user to enhance the individuality of their wheels. Also, the grip designs can be custom designed if required.
KY - Mariachi Design Collective is Ravi Avasti, Justin Vecchio, Michael Thornton, Lee Gratton and Kyran Starcevich. The group was established as a playground for collaborative furniture design. The dynamic, free style of mariachi music and musicians offers an attractive blueprint to an environment in which designers from different backgrounds can come together and experiment with different forms and techniques.
SXH - Can you tell us a little about your background?
KY - I moved to Melbourne in 2004 to better involve myself in a design forum. I studied Furniture Design at Rmit and commenced work with a small traditional furniture company. The skills learned along the way have been both contrasting and challenging, both strongly shown in what I produce.
SXH - Are you a keen cyclist?
KY - Definitely a keen cyclist, but not to the point of obsession. I ride an old school hand made, steel frame. My work place calls me from north to south of the yarra every day, and my bike gets me there. Timbars give a classic new style to my classic old frame.
SXH – Can you explain the design process behind Timbars?
KY - Timbars are produced by firstly selecting the correct timber for maximum strength. A single piece is sliced consecutively, then laminated back together in 5 more pieces, depending on the radius being bent. Using a simple form, the lamination is bent into a curve and clamped. Once dry, the bars are cleaned up and shaped. After sanding the bars, they are finished usng a hard shellac, which after 28 days, cures to be extremely durable. I have 4 grip designs i spray paint onto the bars, which give another visual aesthetic to the product. Lastly, the graphics are sealed in with the final coat of shellac.