Fred Malven
personal design safety design safety
experience projects instruction

Personal Background

Personal Stuff. This section is a sort of dumping ground for things of personal interest but no logical connection to anything else. Included: some early experiences as a kid, hobbies, once "life and death" issues that have turned out to be dead-ends (can't win 'em all).

Photos. Top left-- Dad, Mom and me in front of Grandpa and Grandma Malven's, rural Reeds (MO). Although not fully decked out, I'm in one of my favored Roy Rogers scalloped Western shirts. The plastic guitar (or uke?) was probably a popular accessory because of its cowboy theme-- I certainly never had much enthusiasm or success at MAKING music. This is one of the few photos I have of the exterior of the house, focus for so many of my formative experiences. Here, with the oxblood red trim, it shows up as a far more stylishly refined place than I remember. Center photo-- This image is of a recent refinement of my earliest industrial design project-- a DC powered trails bike, developed for a Yamaha competition. At the University of Missouri-- Columbia, in the late '60s, I developed a real love of motorcycle "trials" riding. Trials is a real fringe segment of cycle sports where the goal is to climb, jump, bounce or otherwise propel your cycle through a course made up of drop-offs, steep climbs, logs, streams, and other obstacles-- at low to moderate speeds-- without putting your foot down (called taking a "dab"). Walt Gerard who owned a bicycle shop and Bud Stone who owned an adjacent Ossa motorcyle dealership generated this distracting influence on me. The central, driving concept was to combine the smooth torque of electric motors (great for trials!) with modular, clamped-on battery packs that slide diagonally up the spine of the machine in order to tune the front to back balance of the machine. This design, sketched sometime in 2002, is more "styled" than the original; the batteries are covered (originally exposed); a "tunable" wheelbase idea is evident in front fork end. Right photo-- Randall "Fireman Special" knife. Always fascinated by tools, and fire tools in particular, knives have come to symbolize raw utility. Still, knives are seldom so raw as to ignore styling issues!