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First-place winners Justin Rosete and Erica Mach and their stands. Top photo by Lino Ragno; bottom rendering courtesy of OCAD.

Back in March we posted about a bike stand design competition open to OCAD students, and this afternoon Mayor David Miller appeared at the college to announce the winners. The first-place prize was awarded to second-year Industrial Design student Justin Rosete and second-year Drawing & Painting student Erica Mach for their simple yet dramatic design consisting of wood and metal. Not only did they score $6,000, but their design will be built at 226 Queen Street West as part of plans to revitalize the property.
Rosete and Mach, who are not only teammates but a couple, embraced and stood proudly behind their model. The second they saw posters advertising the contest around school, they started work on their design. “We did lots of research,” says Rosete. “We traded a lot of ideas back and forth. We just thought of a tree and tried to think of what we could do with that.” The result was partly inspired by the work of French-born conceptual artist Bernar Venet, who is widely known for his large-scale sculptures.
The pair worked through their Reading Week while most of their friends were having fun. The collaboration wasn’t without its obstacles (“Sometimes I wanted to kill him,” laughs Mach) but now they are ready to celebrate with a night out (“He’ll probably take me to McDonald’s”).
Despite charges that the designers have never had to lock a bike to anything, Rosete and Mach say they are avid bikers, though they do most of their cycling in their respective hometowns of North York and Mississauga. Rosete says he’d like to use his prize money to start up a bike share in Toronto. “France has its Vélo à la Carte, and I think it just makes sense for our city to have something similar.” While he acknowledges that Toronto did try out a bike lending program that ultimately failed due to funding issues, he theorizes simply, “It was the wrong time.”