I pride myself on minimizing the number of wants in my life, but damn… I WANT this!… in fact, I NEED this! It’s a want for the ridiculous amount of style that oozes from it, and it’s a need for its functional purpose of promoting safety… this thing truly embodies the power of design, and the recognition it’s been getting even before it’s hit production is a barometer of its market potential… I’m talkin’ about the Project Aura lighting system, a concept that integrates colorful LED lighting into the rims of a bicycle, changes colors based off of how fast one rides, and is self-powered by a front hub dynamo… Metro Hippie likey!

Carnegie Mellon industrial design students Ethan Frier and Jonathan Ota developed Project Aura to address night time bicycle safety through increased visibility. The duo recognized the high number of bicycling fatalities that occur each year (630 in 2009 alone), and that the most dangerous time to ride in cities is between 5 and 10 PM. Their concept brings light to the need for increased bicycle safety, and has been recognized as Core77’s Design Award in the Transportation Design category… pretty cool!

To learn more about Project Aura, watch this ridiculously fresh video below. And when you’re done with that, read up on the behind the scenes development of the concept from Ethan and Jonathan’s own blog called SURG 2011