Urban design: Seats to marvel and relax

Those who wish can ponder, relax and let their thoughts wander here. Extraordinary seating in public spaces fascinate with their unique design. By Elke Hildebrandt

"Please be seated"

For the London Design Festival 2019 Paul Cocksegde created the artwork "Please Be Seated". In Broadgate, the largest pedestrian precinct in central London, the sculpture was to symbolically take up the rhythm of the city. Visitors didn't take long to ask and used the wooden curves as seats and backrests, but also to walk through or provide shade.

Mark Cocksedge

From the 3D printer

The New Raw, a Rotterdam research & design studio, has been thinking about two problems: we produce too much plastic waste and we have too few seats in public spaces. With Print Your City, they have combined both into one solution: around 22 kilograms of plastic waste is enough for 3D printing of a two-person bench.

Stefanos Tsakiris

Sitting in perfect shape

Benches and chairs are the work of Paris-based artist Pablo Reinoso. With excitingly swirling woods and steel rods, the Argentinean breathes life into the benches, causing them to whirl, whirl and dance, and allows them to establish relationships with the people sitting on them.

Pablo Reinoso, Huge Sudeley Bench, 2010 © Pablo Reinoso Studio

Wave of relaxation

Picnurbia is a pop-up park in Robson Square in Vancouver. In 2011, the 30-meter-long, undulating island was created with colorful artificial grass and dozens of white parasols. This was well received by visitors. They sunbathed in the middle of the urban turmoil, connected with friends or took a nap.

Krista Jahnke Photography

Couch, table and chair

The ingenious network of wooden benches is reminiscent of the roots of a tree. The "Root Bench" by Yong Ju Lee Architecture is a unique piece of furniture in organic design and was created for visitors to the Hangang Art Park in Seoul, South Korea. With a diameter of 30 metres and three different levels, the wooden "roots" spread out above ground and offer loungers, tables and chairs.

Kyungsub Shin

By Elke Hildebrandt

Title image: Pablo Reinoso, Huge Sudeley Bench, 2010 © Pablo Reinoso Studio

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