Research, design and prototyping of a bicycle trailer for the Kenyan market




Bicycle trailer design for Cycling Out Of Poverty

WINNER African Bicycle Design Contest / Industrial Design / Validation Research / Prototyping

During a multidisciplinary master's project and as part of the African Bicycle Design Contest (ABDC) a bicycle trailer and business model for the West-African market was developed for the NGO Cycling Out Of Poverty (COOP).  COOP stimulates the use of bicycles in Africa, as bicycles can enlarge access to healthcare, education and employment opportunities. COOP started the African Bicycle Design Contest (ABDC) in order to obtain new product ideas which they could add to their product portfolio. Our team competed against four other international university teams.

Context research and concept design


The key lesson that I took from this project is the importance of creating and maintaining good group dynamics.

Although the project resulted in winning the ABDC the dynamics within the team were extremely complicated along the way. Early on in the project the team fell apart into two separate groups, which made the cooperation very difficult. Better communication, a clear and common goal or vision and more openness towards each other’s views and opinions would have greatly helped to reduce the tensions.

Validation research Kenya

Winning the ABDC gave us the opportunity to test the validity of the design and business model in Kenya.


In a team of three we performed a 10 day field study in Kisumu.

Besides interviewing the involved target groups, we tested the prototype we had built earlier in our university’s workshop in the Netherlands. The outcome of these tests resulted in a redesign of the trailer concept and several design solutions for the attachment of the trailer to the bicycle. All of these were built and tested on site in COOP’s workshop in Kisumu. The new design was adjusted to fit availability of materials, preferred production methods and the road conditions in Kisumu.

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