Reflective Fellows

Our homepage features a Parisian ocean cleaning robot engineer and San Francisco-based American installation artist, both avid cyclists who wear highly reflective, custom Timbuk2 messenger bags. Say that six times.

Cesar Harada and David Gurman in their reflective Timbuk2 messenger bags.

We met Cesar and David at the 2013 Ted Fellow Retreat in Whistler, Canada where we were lucky enough to provide the fellows with made in San Francisco custom messenger bags. Each messenger was unique, a reflection of the fellows themselves, but as cyclists, we had a particular soft spot for Cesar’s and David’s messengers. Committed bike commuters, Cesar and David chose reflective materials for better on-bike visibility. Their bags approach reflectivity in very different ways, but they both get it done and suit their style accordingly.

Cesar Harada is a Parisian living in Hong Kong where he runs Open Sailing Limited, a company that develops open-source technologies to explore and study the oceans. More specifically, Cesar is developing a shape-shifting, open-hardware oil spill cleaning sailing robot. He was on the ground in New Orleans cleaning up the BP spill and is committed to using robots to keep our oceans clean. Cesar is extremely handy and mechanical — when a fellow broke their arm in a kayaking accident in Whistler, Cesar made them a plaster cast — a Senior TED Fellow, and totally committed bike commuter. Cesar’s messenger uses Ultra Reflective fabric that glows day and night. We hope it suits what he reports is rather wild bike commuting in Hong Kong.


David Gurman is an artist and designer who does large, moving installation pieces. David’s work impacts our local community – his 2009 project, The Nicholas Shadow, was a 1st Installation at St. Ignatius Church in San Francisco where a Russian founded Orthodox Church Bell bearing the icon of St. Nicholas tolled hourly registering the number of reported civilian deaths in Iraq on that day. David used data from IBC, custom software, electromechanical bell tolling mechanisms, pulleys, and silk ribbon to make it happen. Like Cesar, David is a TED Fellow and avid cyclist. David went the more subtle route with his custom messenger bag, using a reflective woven that’s low-profile in the daylight but highly reflective in direct light sources at night (i.e. headlights). He expect to see him glowing through the San Francisco streets this winter.

David Gurman

Look for Cesar and David riding on the streets of Hong Kong and San Francisco.

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