If people say it’s impossible we have to prove them wrong
Regardless of the laws in Ontario, Canada pertaining to the wearing of bicycle helmets for cyclists under the age of 18, many people are still dissuaded from wearing a helmet; justifications include style and comfort: “helmets are just too clunky”, and rationalizing: “I’m cycling very slowly and there are no cars around”. Some are even discouraged by cycling altogether since the emphasis on helmet safety makes cycling appear more dangerous than it actually is.
Although there may be various humorous attempts at making helmets more fashionable (as is the case with the fabulous helmet wigs), there are unfortunately no alternatives to the classic mushroom-cap shaped design. Until now that is. Swedish design students Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin have recognized the need for helmets in an age where more people than ever are navigating the urban sprawl on bike lanes rather than car lanes. Haupt and Alstin have created a helmet called Hövding that is “a symbol of the impossible” not only because helmet designs have been the same for years, but because they faced challenges as female designers who were inventing something that was deemed unfeasible.
But they proved everyone wrong by designing a helmet that’s of the superhero variety and has the power of invisibility – when inactive, it doesn’t even look like you’re wearing a helmet. From far away it could easily be mistaken for a patterned circle scarf, and closer up it has the appearance of a puffy collar on a ski jacket that zips up to your chin to ensure adequate winter warmth. This helmet inflates on impact, releasing a sort of airbag that cradles your head. Although the price of this revolutionary helmet might not be affordable for everyone, it provides a welcome alternative in a realm where no alternatives were thought to have existed. Not to mention, it is the product of an inspiring underdog story about two women who just wouldn’t give up.