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Friday, January 30, 2009

john britten


I came across this documentary about John Britten, a modern day NZ legend, who had a unnatural talent for design, and management, that any ID student could learn a lot from. (One of his heroes was another NZ'er Burt Monro, who of course had a movie recently made about him, but, it seems like Britten far surpasses him in every way.)
Britten - Backyard Visionary
the doco, made in 1993 features a wealth of patterned woolen jumpers. It opens with details about his past creations, including a barn conversion made from reclaimed and recycled materials, (which only serves to remind both how forward thinking he was, and how self-congradulatory we can be, with architects still acting like material reuse is a radical step forward towards total enironmental sustainability.)
and details the process of building his second bike, from start- a real life wireframe model built by hand in his garage with a hot glue gun,
to finish - with a stressed engine frame-less chassis, and fork wheels and fairing/body laid up from single strands of carbon fibre.
As a primer on hard work and work flow techniques, it's actually quite educational, and the way he manages to involve such a qualified team of volunteers, and keep the project on track, is admirable, and why i think he's a much more inspiring 'backyard inventor' then Burt Munro.

if you don't have time for the 40+ minute documentary, there's a different short 7 minute film on youtube, that covers some of the same area.

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