Phillippe Starck is staying true to his word.
Some years back, Starck famously declared that designers of the future are "a personal coach, the gym trainer, the diet consultant." In other words, people who deliver utility.
He didn't stop there, though. He started pursuing a new, democratic, accessible design approach, the one that's made for sustainable environmental impact rather than for the pleasure of the priviledged few.
Enter the Pibal bike.
The city of Bordeaux needed a bike sharing program. Peugeout and Starck partnered to help. They created a fancy - and functional - combination between a scooter and a bike, great for both the light cruising and for the heavy pedaling.
As for the bike/scooter design process itself, it was democratic. Starck solicited suggestions from residents of Bordeaux and incorporated them in his design concepts. 20 volunteers are now testing the bikes, and will send their feedback.
The Pribal bike sharing program is set to start in January 2014. More importantly, Phillippe Starck can't claim anymore that "everything he's ever designed is absolutely unnecessary."