Smart, well-designed urban seating encourages more interaction with the cities we live in and with each other, infusing them with vibrancy and a sense of connection. It’s even cooler when it’s built right into a park or sidewalk as a multifunctional element to add some sculptural visual interest, delineate different zones or offer opportunities for fitness and play.
Just a Black Box: Furniture Transforms Into Kiosk
A cube of semi-private seating by day, ‘Just a Black Box’ by Max Boano and Jonas Prismontas transforms into a kiosk for commercial or public use at night (or whenever else it’s desired.) The box elevates itself on its own hidden hydraulic columns to become a customizable space that can be used for retail, cafes, bike repair, selling tickets or even as a mini theater.
3 Urban Hammock Installations
Comfy hammocks come to public spaces in various forms to create some of the most nap-worthy urban furniture you’ll ever see, including a series of nets strung over the grass by The Chartered Institute of Housing, bright blue hammocks inserted into a void in a promenade along Paprocany Lake in Poland, and re-purposed fire hoses hung from a steel grid in Copenhagen.
Vanke Cloud City by Lab D+H
Vanke Cloud City is a mixed-use development project in Guangzhou, China boasting a series of creative public seating strategies by Lab D+H. The Cloud Line is a continuous tubular steel structure offering benches, monkey bars, parallel bars and other uses, while Cloud Seat is a modular set of interacted spaces made of perforated steel plate, with vertically stacked seating.
Meeting Bowls for NYC
Small groups can get together and chat face-to-face in a comfortable, breezy space with ‘Meeting Bowls’ by the Madrid-based design firm mmmm… in partnership with the Times Square Alliance. The urban furniture installation was situated in the center of Manhattan’s busiest plaza in summer 2011to facilitate interactions and dialogue between friends and strangers alike. The base of each bowl gently rocks to imitate the sensation of floating.