Friday, September 21st, 2018 pm30 8:47pm

Some Can Draw Bikes From Memory. Some … Definitely Can’t

Go grab a pen and some paper and try this: Using only your memory, draw a bicycle. You have two minutes.

Gianluca Gimini has over the past six years asked more than 500 people to do exactly this. Drawing a bicycle from memory is harder than it sounds; of the 370 people who really tried (Gimini says a lot of people go rogue, when they realize their drawings aren’t turning out right), about 25 percent managed to accurately sketch a bike.

Gimini doesn’t pay attention to the accurate drawings in his illustration project Velocipedia. Instead, he created digital renderings of some of the weirdest, most impractical designs that came from the other 75 percent of the test group. “People draw some really crazy stuff when they are trying to be totally non-creative and just follow a task,” he says.

The idea started with a conversation in a bar in Bologna, Italy, in 2009. Gimini was recounting a childhood memory about a classmate who was asked to draw a bicycle, on the spot, in front of the entire class. He couldn’t, which seemed laughable. After all, bicycles are ubiquitous objects that most kids learn to ride at a young age. It’s a machine that’s been passed down generations, and its utility transcends geography and culture. “We both agreed that [everyone] knows how a bike is made,” Gimini says. “But then [my friend] tried to draw one on a napkin, and he failed.”