Jens Martin Skibsted

DENMARK (1970)
What do poetry, design and bicycles have in common? Namely, Jens Martin Skibsted – a Danish designer and entrepreneur who has studied philosophy, published a collection of poems and acts as the energetic creative director of Biomega Philosophy Aps, the company behind the Biomega bicycle.

Grounded in a humanistic Scandinavian design tradition, Skibsted is a visionary who has made an extraordinary impact while still early in his career. At the age of 20, he founded the art association AV-ART and soon became the editor of AV! and Start, with support from the Danish Arts Foundation. In 1994, Skibsted graduated from the French film school ESEC in Paris, followed by studies in philosophy at Copenhagen University and in project management at the University of California, Berkeley. In 2004, he published a poetry collection, Kavesom.

Skibsted has founded and co-founded a number of companies, among them the bicycle company Biomega, an ethical consultancy called Actics and Skibsted Ideation, which creates “radically new concepts for brand owners.” As an industrial designer, creative consultant and concept developer through Skibsted Ideation, he has worked with some of the world’s leading designers including Marc Newson, Ross Lovegrove and Karim Rashid. He is one of a select group who has worked with Puma, along with the likes of Philippe Starck and the late Alexander McQueen.

Skibsted’s celebrated Copenhagen bicycle has been displayed and exhibited in numerous museums and exhibitions worldwide, including the Danish Design Centre and Danish Museum for Craft and Design. Wallpaper* magazine chose his Copenhagen bike as the most promising means of urban transport and voted it one of the top Danish design products. In Skibsted’s words, it has become an “instant classic” rather than an “object of fashion.”

Featured in a host of international design magazines, Skibsted was honored with a place on the I.D. 40, International Design magazine’s list of the most influential people in the world of design. In 2005, he received the I.D. Design Distinction Award for consumer products, and in 2006 his Puma bicycle was acquired for the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Referring to the Biomega bicycle, Skibsted says, “There are loads of good bikes for specific sports, but few are built just for getting around town.” The bicycle is designed for “urban mobility,” with the intent of “making towns and cities lovelier, beautiful and cleaner places to be.” Beyond creating an object of beauty, “We want to spread the love we put into our bikes to the people who ride them. We believe that a kind of osmosis from the bike to the rider takes place, spreading our feel for quality and originality.”