PolyU design scholar shows creativity at work

Working in collaboration with the HKSAR Government's Highways Department, Prof. Michael Siu, Leader of the Public Design Lab of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU), has achieved a major breakthrough in managing public space by the invention of a new bollard system, known as FlexiBOL®, for use along the roadside and pedestrian walkways. Prof. Siu has grasped 10 patents as well as several overseas awards for this innovation.

Equipped with specially designed interlocking components and mounting mechanism, the FlexiBOL® is more user-friendly than the traditional bollards and railings, thereby allowing greater flexibility in the use of public spaces. With FlexiBOL® replacing traditional bollards and railings, a pedestrian walkway can be easily converted into a street market or a public place for social, cultural and festival activities by dismantling the locks and bollards within a short period of time. It can be done the other way around by erecting FlexiBOL® as barriers between walkways and heavy traffic.

It only takes less than three minutes to dismount or set up a single set of FlexiBOL®, making it very convenient for urban planners, landscape architects, engineers and designers to manage public space. Its innovative design also fits in well with the urban environment of the densely populated cities such as Hong Kong. It also overcomes the limitations of existing vertically extracted bollard systems, which is difficult for fitting in the shallowly paved roads and walkways with a large number of utilities installed underneath.

The highly flexible innovation is also being considered for massive use in the Beijing Central Business District and the coastal areas in Tianjin. It is currently being adopted by the HKSAR Government’s Highways Department for testing purpose and was installed along the highly congested Hing Fat Street in Causeway Bay in May this year.

This breakthrough has won acclaim overseas and was bestowed with the Japan Intellectual Property Association (JIPA) Award for the Best Invention in Industrial Design and a Gold Medal at the 20th International Invention, Innovation & Technology Exhibition of Malaysia held in May 2009. It also won the Double Gold Award by the British Inventors Society last year.

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Press Contacts
Prof. Michael Siu
Tel      2766 5455
Email  m.siu@polyu.edu.hk