El diseñador Izhar Gafni es responsable de máquinas ganadoras de múltiples premios, como una para pelar granadas y otra para coser zapatos. Su más reciente esfuerzo se enfoca a otra de sus pasiones, las bicicletas. Desde que escuchó sobre la construcción de una canoa de cartón, se obsesionó en crear una bici del mismo material, misma que bautizó como Alfa.

Alfa pesa 9 kg pero aguanta a personas 24 veces más pesadas. Está hecha casi por completo de cartón y 100% de materiales reciclados. El proyecto, además de verde pretende ser sumamente económico, con un precio de manufactura de entre 9 y 12 dólares (y sólo 5 en el modelo para niños).

El proceso fue arduo debido a la impresión general de la fragilidad del papel. Gafni estaba convencido de que este sería lo suficientemente fuerte de ser tratado correctamente “si lo doblas una vez, gana tres veces más fuerza.”

Llegar al modelo final, tomó a Gafni alrededor de tres años. Los dos primeros los pasó aprendiendo las dificultades del material –que resultaron en varias patentes de tratamiento- y el último convirtiendo el cartón en cada una de las piezas de una bicicleta.

Para ver su creación en las calle, Gafni trabaja actualmente con una compañía para reunir los fondos necesarios de manufactura y arrancar su producción. De suceder, podría provocar un impacto no solamente en su bolsillo y el de sus socios, sino en el paradigma del transporte individual.

La bicicleta es uno de los sistemas más eficientes de transportación, porque convierten el 99% de la fuerza humana en movilidad y es cinco veces más rápida que la caminata. Debido al bajo costo de Alfa, esta podría utilizarse en países en desarrollo, con empleados que disminuyan su uso del automóvil o en escuelas para sustituir el transporte escolar.Y el vídeo…



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