Social Seating: 14 Public Benches Foster Urban Interactions

social bench upside down

social bench bent over

More about the project: “With their modifications, the benches transform their surroundings into places of activity rather than rest and solitude; they foster exchange between the users and the passers-by, thus lending the work a social quality.”

social bench loungeing ground

interactive long bench project

“Due to their alterations, the benches end up somewhere between a dysfunctional object and a functional piece of furniture … [a] contradiction between artwork and functional object.”

long modified bench auckland

social bench installation art

In Australia, a series of different benches outside the Auckland Art Gallery “create an imaginary line meandering along the building, terrace, facade, and galleries …. The bench designs borrow their basic form from the typical park bench-elevated upon legs, they provide a base to sit on and a back to lean against. However, unlike ordinary benches, the line of seating is elongated into multiple visually connected segments, rising and bending with high arches and sharp turns. Their curved and unconventional forms offer not only an opportunity to relax, but also promote conversation between visitors.”