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Product Design
Published: 5 May 2017

Superbenches: Playful Urban Rejuvenation

L-R: Core, Spring Break

Ten international designers were invited to redefine the park bench for an urban installation titled Superbenches. Unveiled on April 29 in a Stockholm suburb, the benches are intended to encourage locals to use the park as a public meeting place. The initiative forms part of a two-year development project intended to invigorate the community.

  • Core by London-based Canadian designer Philippe Malouin looks more like a small pavilion than a conventional park bench. It features a hollowed-out cylinder in which the seating is formed by concave gaps. Influenced by the local topography, the large-scale, sculptural structure is a proposal for a designated meeting point that fits in with its surroundings.
  • Spring Break is a humorous interpretation of a seat from London-based design practice Soft Baroque. Drawing inspiration from children’s playground springers, the two-seater bench consists of a mirror-polished slab on top of two oversized metal springs. For more playful furniture concepts, see Playhouse: Design For Fun.

Other bench prototypes include a sinuous, wave-shaped seat from British designer Max Lamb; a redesign of existing benches featuring colour gradients from Dutch studio Scholten & Baijings; and an L-shaped formation of bricks made of cow dung by Italian architect Luca Cipelletti, among others.

For more inspirational social design, see Urban Planning & Communal living in our Beijing Design Week 2016 report, which focuses on developing new uses for public spaces and revitalising urban areas in China.

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