It started when I bought my wife a good quality, Australian made swimsuit*. It cost $300, but proved to be worth every cent. The confidence it gave her, with its uniform finish and shape control, achieved with bust darts and self-lining, wiped away her anxieties. Like never before, we started enjoying our time at the beach!
At the time I was rather half-heartedly studying fashion. That might seem odd for someone with a PhD in architectural history, but after five years of book tours and keynotes (see below), I was getting tired of my own voice. I was studying fashion in the hope I might fall in love with it. Thanks to that swimsuit, I did.
I set myself a challenge, to replicate and surpass my wife’s swimsuit. It took a year and an investment in seven different types of industrial machines, and would not have been possible had I not found a consultant, a seasoned designer who had worked for major swim brands all over the world. Through her, I made contact with an elite cult of machinists, all in one factory in Sydney, keeping luxury swimwear alive. When I learned they had made my wife's swimsuit, I knew I had come to the source.
Through their generosity, and my own perseverance, I became part of that cult. Now I am among a small number of people who, by their own hands, are able to make a luxury swimsuit.
I spent my 20s designing buildings, my 30s teaching, my 40s writing books and generating ideas, but in my 50s I have a product to offer. I am able to design, prototype, promote and produce a luxury swimsuit with absolute control of the process. I rely on no-one but those who value my product, for the enjoyment of the beach I can bring them.
—Dr. Steven Fleming, 2020.
For any who may be interested, below you will find links to publications and talks from my life as an architectural historian.
Steven Fleming, Velotopia: The Production of Cycle-Space in Our Minds and Our Cities, Rotterdam: NAi010 Publishers, 2017. ISBN 978-94-6208-352-3
Steven Fleming, Cycle Space:Architecture and Urban Design in the Age of the Bicycle, Rotterdam: NAi010 uitgevers, 2012. ISBN 978 94 6208 004 1
VeloCity Maryville. Through design advice and professional lobbying (research, report writing and presentations) Steven helped property developers Mavid Group increase site yield and bicycle amenity while reducing incentives to to drive from this new housing development in Newcastle, Australia. http://velocitymaryville.com.au/vision/
Guangming New District Green Transportation Plan. Working for the International New Town Institute in the Netherlands and the Shenzhen Design Centre in China, Steven designed a bicycle network and design guidelines integrated with a new BRT system, existing subway and high speed rail nodes. https://vimeo.com/246287591
Friedrichshafen, EuroBike 2016, address on behalf of Shimano to a meeting of CEOs of the world’s major bicycle manufacturing companies to explain likely futures for urban cycling and industry’s power to shape them.
Amsterdam, Pakhuis de Dezwijger, keynote speaker at the launch of Amsterdam's 2016 FabCity Campus as part of Europe by People. 16.11.2015.
Vancouver, Architectural Institute of British Columbia, plenary talk “Why a Human Powered Mega City Could Have the Fastest Commutes”, and moderator of “disruptive trends” panel. 29-30.10.2015.
Adelaide, The annual conference of the European Cyclists’ Federation (Velo-City), plenary, “Inventing building typologies and urban morphologies that proceed from bicycle motion”, (29.5.14)
Nijmegen, 3rd annual conference of the European Cyclologistics Federation. Keynote: “What Architecture can do for Cyclologistics” (12.4.14)
Rotterdam, NAi, Urban Bike Night, Invited keynote to launch the book Cycle Space and forum panel member. 22.11.12
Singapore, SIA Archifest Forum, “Rethinking Cycling,” Invited keynote speaker and forum panel member. 10.12.
Steven Fleming, “The Daphne Schipper Bridge”, in Ride a Bike, Reclaim the City, ed. Deutsches Architekturmuseum, Birkhauser, 2018. (Includes chapters from Jan Gehl and Janette Sadik-Khan.)
Steven Fleming, “Bike Paths to Nowhere: A Case for Bike Infrastructure that Ignores the Street Network”, in Bicycle Urbanism: Reimagining Bicycle Friendly Cities (Urban Planning and Environment) Rachel Berney (ed.), Routledge, 2017. ISBN-13: 978-1472456632, ISBN-10: 1472456637
Steven Fleming, “A landscape cycled is a landscape conserved”, in Yorit Kluitman, Bicycle Landscape, Rotterdam, NAi010, 2017. ISBN: 978-94-6208-387-5
Angelina Russo, Steven Fleming: [re] cycle spaces. Traces and Hauntings, Edited by Katie Hayne, Jen Webb, 08/2015: chapter 18: pages 44-45; Centre for Creative & Cultural Research, University of Canberra., ISBN: 978-1-74088-424-2
Lee Roberts, Steven Fleming, "Foster + Partners’ SkyCycle and the technological sublime", 7th International Urban Design Conference, 1st - 3rd September, 2014
Steven Fleming, “The Bicycle Oriented Development (BOD): A New Tool in Urban Resilience,” in Resilience in Urban Design, Proceedings of the 4th International Urban Design Conference, 21st-23rd September 2011, Gold Coast, Australia. pp.80-87. ISBN: 978-0-9808147-3-6
Fleming, S., “Newcastle Bicycle City,” Smart Future Cities 2015, conference ran by the Tom Farrell Institute, Newcastle, 1-3 October 2015. http://www.smartfuturecities.com.au/presentations.html 2.10.2015
Steven Fleming, “The subcultures behind the cultural ascension of cycling”, in The 2010 Healthy Cities Conference, Stamford Plaza Brisbane, 12th & 13th of July.