Grab a pew, cop a squat, rest your pins- Seats in Public Space

For a long time I have been painfully aware of public benches- or the lack there of in Dublin. I grew up in a family with extra support needs, from people with severe Arthritis to Cerebral Palsy going out has always required extra planning and thought. Some of that thought is, where are there benches we can stop for a rest between x and y. X and Y may be two shops quite close together or the distance from our house to the nearest doctor but either way, public seating has had an affect on the life of my family. At times this affect has been car dependence, other times its been all out exclusion from places or activities. When I started studying Urban Design it was natural that I would think a lot about urban furniture and as such, my UD Furniture board on Pinterest is probably one of my largest. That might also be a sign of how many great designs there are out there. This post I’m going to feature multipurpose furniture- from bike rack benches to scaffold lunch spots…

First up is ‘Softwalks’ by the MFA Transdisciplinary Design program at Parsons, The New School.

This takes the problem of unsightly scaffolding taking over precious public space by turning the structure into a resource. Im sure there would be some questions about ownership and safety but its a well designed, useful addition to any street. Pity it wasnt around in Ireland in the Boom!

Read more: DIY Softwalks Kits Let You Turn Ugly Scaffolding into Fun Pop-Up Parks! | Inhabitat New York City

Second on my list; Coffee Bench by Karolina Tylka. Apart from the name appealing to my coffee addict side (my daily habit looks something like this). The simple form of flipping the chair pieces to form a table appeals to me. In fact I think this should be a regular fixture in airports as I am regularly either forced to sit on tables for lack of seats or struggling with bags/coffee/phone ballanced on a seat next to me or those stupid low tables…

My third choice is not Red Ribbon Street bench designed by Shigeru Uchida in Toyko. This isnt a piece of multifunction furniture rather than a piece of user interaction furniture. The various shapes and flow of the piece mean it is not only artistic but can be used in a number of different ways. There arent many pictures of it but heres one;


I could go on with more but then I wouldn’t have any future posts so I’m going to leave it there for now and hope you enjoy these.


This entry was published on February 18, 2013 at 9:39 pm. It’s filed under Design, Furniture and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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