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On April 28th, 2004, a tragedy befell the citizens of Bogotá that is considered one of the worst disasters in the recent history of the city. An asphalt recycling machine that was part of the city’s construction work on an extensive new system of transportation fell on top of a school bus and caused the death of 21 children and two adults, and wounded 24 others.
The cause of this accident was attributed, among other things, to the violation of regulations concerning industrial security, road signaling in construction areas, and the lack of appropriate tools to alert and move machinery, pedestrians, and vehicles on public roads with complicated traffic patterns.
The ALIEN emerged in the year 2000 with the intention of alerting, safeguarding, and demarcating roads; a project whose objective was precisely to protect and warn pedestrians, vehicles, and drivers traveling on outdated, rustic, and rule less Latin American highways.
This tragic accident confirmed these dangers and convinced city planners to understand the importance of the ALIEN design developed by CD&I Associates.
Today, this invention has become an international patent and was declared the “Design of the Decade” by El Tiempo, Colombia ́s most influential newspaper. It also won plaudits at the Madrid and Shanghai Architectural Exhibitions, as well as winning the “Lápiz de Acero” Award and placing as a finalist in the Innovators of America Prize. It is now considered an icon of the Latin American design and material culture.
ALIEN is available in many countries, where for more than 18 years it has been used to transform and improve quality of life.
How does it work? Needed to generate traffic indicators to be placed in a consequent way to advise workers, pedestrians, and drivers of possible obstacles and accidents that may occur, it uses a light system that is easy to move, with the ability to efficiently carry road signaling tapes that integrate signaling systems, cable lines, ropes, and chains.
ALIEN is composed of three essential pieces which enable it to mutate into more than ten different demarcation systems: by becoming a cone, a barricade, or a signal, depending on the circumstances. Its modular nature represented a new typology on the market that eased transportation and storage costs and thus reduced costs and manpower expense in a significant way.
The ALIEN base was designed to be filled quickly with water or sand to offer more stability to the device; road signaling tapes were achieved rapidly and securely, exposing it to the maximum visual area. Thanks to the connection mechanisms contained at the end of each module, it allows the structure to be configured in different ways, temporary and modular, or permanent and fixed, just by removing one of its security tabs.
Here a short video: