When we think of the seats and benches we sit on out in the street we usually find we are sitting on something nondescript, covered in graffiti with peeling paint. However, times are changing and street furniture is becoming stylish, sculptural and designed with attention to how it might be used.
We think street furniture should be creatively designed, reasonably comfortable to sit on,mindful of materials used and look great in the context of it’s surroundings. Ergonomically designed, posture-perfect seats and benches are springing up in the urban streetscape. Developers and Council’s are providing seating to encourage social interaction and are investing in higher quality products in natural materials, stone, stainless steel and wood to avoid the maintenance issues of the past.
Sam Aquillano, an executive director at Design Museum Boston held a ‘Street Seats’ exhibition where designers around the world were invited to create their own ‘iconic bench’ to represent a neighbourhood and it’s people. The intention being to challenge people’s perceptions of street furniture to make them think ‘Whoa, whats with this bench’. Find out more here.
There are lots of examples of creative designs out there. Here’s a small selection of our favourites:
This seat is in London and first appeared outside the Hayward Gallery in 2009. Peter Newman (the creator) designed it to look like a UFO and to fit reclining human figures. It’s a great way to look up at the sky and star gaze!