One of the first statistics I came across during the research for Colors 81 – Transport was that 1/3 of workers in Copenhagen normally commute by bike. A sudden desire to be “Scandi” (a bit like my art director Henriette) and incredibly civilized got hold of me. I borrowed a bike from a friend of mine and started cycling to work every day. It wasn’t so bad. The weather was mild, flowers were blossoming along the road and, more than anything, I was in good company.
Then, one day, the rain came. I was tempted to go by car but, wait, I had just read that the majority of cars in Europe drive with only one person on board, emitting a shameful amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. I sent a couple of SMS to my workmates and managed to organize an improvised car pooling scheme. The days in which I couldn’t fill my car with enough people, I just jumped on a bus, the most sustainable way of getting around according to the book that I was reading.
Having to cover almost 2.000 km in one day, I decided to go by train instead of taking an airplane, the most destructive form of transport one could possibly imagine. The journey was long, but not as long as the one that my friend Ed Gillespie took when he traveled the world for one year without taking a single airplane. Thinking of him riding a camel in Mongolia cheered me up every time I felt bored.
In 3 months of hard work I also took two ferries and several vaporettos, jumped on many regional trains, went trekking and obsessively checked where the products in my fridge were coming from. Colors 81 – Transport finally came out. The New York Times liked it and it might even be that after the summer some of the DIY vehicles featured in the magazine will be exhibited somewhere in the world.
As for me, after finishing the issue I was so obsessed about transport that I ended up locking myself in the house, refusing to go anywhere for an entire, very relaxing week.