Oregon Manifest Rolls Out 2011 Constructor’s Design Challenge Criteria

Amy Hunter
(503) 927-5872

– Second biennial bike design competition challenges 35 independent builders and five student teams
to create the ultimate utility bicycle for the everyday cyclist –
– Three globally renowned design firms partner with top American craftsman in the Oregon Manifest Creative Collaborations

Portland, Ore. (February 3, 2011) – Oregon Manifest – the one-of-a-kind American design and build competition that brings together custom bike builders and leading design firms to redefine transportation for the everyday lifestyle cyclist – has announced its criteria for the 2011 Constructor’s Design Challenge, which takes place in Portland on September 23 and 24, 2011. Both the criteria and application for the competition are now online at www.oregonmanifest.com.

Oregon Manifest also unveiled a new component to the second biennial competition: Creative Collaborations. In an exciting, unparalleled partnership, three global design firms – IDEO (Palo Alto, CA), fuseproject (San Francisco, CA) and Ziba Design (Portland, OR) – will each pair with accomplished custom bike builders to push the boundaries of what a modern utility bike can be. Each design firm will be working from the same brief as the Constructor’s Design Challenge, and their progress will be chronicled through monthly online updates hosted by Oregon Manifest’s media partner, industrial design supersite Core77.

“We’re looking for the ultimate modern utility bike: a bike designed as an integrated Tool For Living that is yet to be found on the retail floor,” said Shannon Holt, Oregon Manifest board member. “We know that designers working with makers can result in true functional innovation for the everyday rider, and we can’t wait to see what comes of these unique collaborations.”

Also announced today is the event’s presenting sponsor, Levi’s.

“The Levi’s® brand has long outfitted the pioneers, workers and craftsmen that built America,” said Christian Parkes, Levi’s® Senior Director, Marketing, Engagement.  “This tradition, and our ongoing commitment to timeless design and modern innovation, connects us to the bike builders in this competition. We are excited to support Oregon Manifest, along with the larger community of likeminded cyclists and constructors, and we look forward to collaborating over the next eight months.”

Torching the Competition: the 2011 Constructor’s Design Challenge

Up to 35 custom bike builders from across United States will test their mettle against Oregon Manifest’s rigorous design criteria in pursuit of the ultimate modern utility bike that addresses the needs of the everyday rider in an innovative, highly considered way. Participants in the Constructor’s Design Challenge will be faced with building a bike that is flexible, durable, able to carry reasonable loads with ease, and ready to accommodate the many small and large challenges of everyday riding. Transportation bikes must be sturdy and durable, yet nimble enough to provide all-around utility during a short trip or a longer haul.
The top 12 entrants from the 2009′s Constructor’s Design Challenge have first right of refusal for entry in the 2011 competition until February 17, 2011.  Oregon Manifest will hold an additional ten slots for invitational entries. Thirteen-plus entry slots will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. The entry deadline for the competition is March 10, 2011.

Student Teams

Oregon Manifest believes that some of today’s most promising transportation ideas are coming from design students. Five student teams will be invited to participate in the 2011 Constructor’s Design Challenge. These teams will work from the same design criteria as the Constructor’s Challenge and the Creative Collaborations. Student teams currently include Art Institute of Portland’s Industrial Design Program, California College of the Arts, Pacific Northwest College of Art’s Applied Craft and Design MFA program, and University of Oregon’s Industrial Design program.

The Oregon Manifest Field Test: Where the Rubber Hits the Road

The moment of truth in the 2011 Challenge will be the mandatory Oregon Manifest Field Test, which will take place in Portland on Saturday, September 24, 2011. This rigorous road trial will assess the real function of every bike in the challenge, in real world environments including hills, highways and off-road sections. It will include several on-road checkpoints where judges will evaluate specific features of each bike. The Field Test requires riders to keep a brisk pace that will stress their bikes to the limit, and demands a well-crafted, expertly assembled entry in order to complete the route in good time. Final evaluation and point tabulation will occur after all bikes have completed the Field Test.
Preceding the Field Test is the preliminary judging and public viewing of the Constructor’s Design Challenge entries, which will take place at Pacific Northwest College of Art on September 23. From 7:00-10:00 PM, the public is invited to view the entries and meet the makers behind the bikes. Also that evening, the 2011 Field Test route will be unveiled.

2011 Constructor’s Design Challenge Awards Gala

Oregon Manifest culminates in the Awards Gala, which will take place the evening of September 24, 2011, at Chris King Precision Components, in Portland, OR. The Awards Gala, which is open to the public, will be a celebration of the incredible achievements of the 2011 entrants and the three-designer/builder Creative Collaboration teams. Awards will be bestowed upon the top three entrants, along with two honorable mentions and a student winner. All entries will be displayed for inspection by gala attendees.

2011 Judges

The 2011 Oregon Manifest Design Challenge’s judging panel includes renowned design professionals, a cycling pioneer, and a representative from national bicycling media. They include Tinker Hatfield, vice president of Innovation Design and special projects, Nike; Rob Forbes, founder, Design Within Reach and PUBLIC Bikes; Joe Breeze, founder, Breezer Bicycles; and Bill Strickland, editor, Bicycling magazine. The panel will be moderated by Ron Sutphin, president, United Bicycle Institute.


Oregon Manifest exists to celebrate and amplify bike craft, design and innovation. They believe that real innovation happens in workshops, garages, design houses and schools. Oregon Manifest values the process of making, the spirit of ingenuity and the passion of brave undertakings.  Oregon Manifest is a 501 c4 non-profit organization. oregonmanifest.com


The Levi’s® brand epitomizes classic American style and effortless cool. Levi’s® jeans were invented by Levi Strauss & Co. in 1873 and have since become one of the most recognized and imitated clothing items in the world – capturing the imagination and loyalty of people for generations. Today, the Levi’s® brand portfolio continues to evolve through a relentless pioneering and innovative spirit that is unparalleled in the apparel industry.  Our range of leading jeanswear and accessories are available in more than 110 countries, allowing individuals around the world to express their personal style.  For more information about the Levi’s® brand, its products and stores, please visit www.levi.com.