The Urban Spinning Bench (USB) encourages people in Cook St. Village to make sustainable and healthy decisions. (Erica Mak photo)

Charge your phone through pedal power with Victoria art installation

Cook St. Village’s urban spinning bench invites users to make a positive impact

It’s not a bike, it’s not a bench… it’s all that and an art installation!

The Urban Spinning Bench (USB for short) was installed in Cook Street Village and unveiled on Dec. 1.

“I want people to be intrigued by this piece and be inspired to imagine what a sustainable future could be like,” mechanical designer Erica Mak said.

The USB has two sets of pedals hooked up to generators. The faster someone pedals, the more electricity generated. People can charge their phones or a light tube, although how fast it will charge your phone depends on the model and how many apps are open on the device.

In collaboration with her initiative Renewable Energy Art Program (REAP), Cascadia Architect and Integral Group, Mak said the pilot project is the first of its kind in Victoria, and she hopes to add more to other neighbourhoods. The design incorporates renewable energy technology to promote small-scale alternative energy and healthy living.

READ MORE: Cyclist defecates, throws own poop at car in Victoria

“With the two pedal sets you can compete with a friend or a new friend, a neighbour and see if you can pedal fast enough to light up all the lights on the tube,” Mak said.

In five minutes, Mak was able to give her phone a three per cent boost.

“It’s a human-powered charger, so it definitely takes a bit longer,” she said with a chuckle.

The City of Victoria gave the USB project $4,000 as part of the My Great Neighbourhood Grant Program in 2017, and the project proposal was also sponsored by the Cook Street Village Business Association.

“When people think about renewable energy, it’s sometimes daunting and almost not feasible to build themselves, but if we can make it look fun and beautiful and completely feasible, I’m hoping it will spark some dialogue about sustainable living and really inspire people to look into alternative energy solutions,” Mak said.

The USB can be found at the Oxford and Cook Street intersection.

READ MORE: Victoria’s next set of bike lanes slated to run along Beacon Hill Park


@KeiliBartlett
keili.bartlett@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Saanich launches new tool to help residents learn about the budget

Tool launch will coincide with the Mar. 3 budget meeting

Coast Capital Savings in Saanich to re-open after COVID-19 scare

The branch closed ‘out of an abundance of caution’

Nominations for Victoria municipal byelection are in

Victoria will elect one councillor

Oak Bay’s first heritage conservation area is in the books

Councillor excited to see how HCA protects character of The Prospect

Court hears of moments before Victoria father stabbed to death in the middle of Hillside Avenue

Sentencing hearing for Daniel Creagh, charged with manslaughter, began Friday

Two law enforcement trucks ‘deliberately’ set on fire in northern B.C., RCMP say

Police say they have video evidence of a person in the area of the truck fires

B.C. mother, daughter return home after coronavirus quarantine in Asia

Jensine Morabito and her daughter were on Holland America’s Westerdam but did not catch the virus

Leap Year means we get an extra day in February, so how are you spending it?

People online have a number of suggestions and plans on how they will be spending Saturday

Greta sticker that drew outrage in Alberta not child pornography: RCMP

X-Site Energy Services has denied having anything to do with the stickers

Bald eagle hit by train in northern B.C. has a chance of survival

The raptor has been taken to OWL in the Lower Mainland for recovery

Cheslatta Carrier Nation and Rio Tinto sign a historic agreement

Co-operation crucial to stem dropping Nechako Reservoir level

Stories of sexual assault at B.C. tree planting camps ‘shocking but not surprising:’ advocate

Contractors’ association is working with trainers to create respectful culture

Lawyer gets house arrest for possessing child porn

Maple Ridge resident gets nine-month term

Most Read