CO-FOUNDER, JENS MARTIN SKIBSTED
Jens Martin is a designer, entrepreneur, author and poet. He is recognised for starting a revolution in bicycles with his Biomega urban bike.
Always dreaming and thinking, Jens Martin’s path to design has been a circuitous one. As a child growing up in France, his notebooks were filled with sketches of inventions, many of which exist today. Studying philosophy at the Sorbonne he firmly believed he would become a poet. Returning to his native Copenhagen at the age of 20, he founded AV-ART, a gallery, record label and venue for experimental music and poetry readings.
It was while he was on a trip to Barcelona that he realised he should start a company designing bicycles. “I started drawing bikes, but tried to forget about it because I have so many ideas, and I can’t do everything.”
With bicycles pushed to the back of his mind, he pursued further studies in film and philosophy, skipping between Paris and Copenhagen, until the idea finally took root in 1998.
Biomega has since redefined bicycle design. Its first collaboration with Marc Newson – at the time a philosophy student with no design experience – led to collaborations with some of the world’s best industrial designers, including Ross Lovegrove and Karim Rashid. The Biomega Puma bicycle, created for the eponymous sports brand, is in MoMA and SFMoMA.
Today, Jens Martin is focusing his attention on KiBiSi, an industrial design supergroup that he has founded with architect, Bjarke Ingels and designer Lars Holme Larsen. The group’s Shanghay chair, produced by Hay, made its debut in the Danish Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo 2010 and has since won many accolades.
He is an advisory member of INDEX, World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Design and the Danish Design Council.
He is the author of Kavesom, a poetry collection, and the marketing strategy book Instant Icon.
Awards and accreditations
2002 Member of the Who’s Who Historical Society
2004 Wallpaper Design Prize
2005 ID Annual Design Review’s Certificate of Excellence
2006 ID Forty List
2009 Young Global Leader, World Economic Forum
2010 40 under 40
2010 The Good Design Award
2011 European Consumers Choice Award
MoMA, New York
SFMoMA, San Francisco