The Bench Lounger
All images supplied by Eleonore Ly
Cosiness and street furniture aren’t two things you would normally pair together in a sentence… but why wouldn’t they be? There has been a shift, worldwide, to design for discomfort and unpleasantness when it comes to designing for public spaces. Objects and spaces are often designed to deter and put-off the public from using an area too long (or at all) and you can see traces of this in most cities around the world from New York to Sydney. The trend for this kind of design is referred to as hostile or defensive design.
What if instead of designing to exclude we design to include and invite the public into these spaces, inviting them to stay, enjoy and relax. The Bench Lounger designed by Eleonore Ly, a Master of Design graduate from Billy Blue College of Design, aims to change the image of street furniture and remove the limits on how it’s used in public spaces—like in business districts.
Working individuals are often seen utilising public benches on lunch breaks to sit and enjoy their meal outdoors before heading back into the office. The Bench Lounger changes what is seen as socially acceptable in how these benches are used.
Approachable design begins with the combination of slim curved timber, stainless steel and aluminium—giving it an overall lightness and sturdy structure and contemporary and friendly appeal.
The bench is designed to be used in three possible ways: a normal seated position with a 105-degree angle, a leaning position against the sides with a 120-degree angle (lounging) and a laying down position along the 2-meter length.
What is seen as socially acceptable in how something can be used will take time, but it can start simply at the bench with signage showing the many ways it can be used and a reminder that the bench is for everyone.
If you would like to contact Eleonore for more information or about taking this project further do so here.
If you have a postgraduate design project (Masters, PhD etc) that you think needs a wider audience read this and get in touch.