The Split Bench

In today’s Western society, people tend to keep more to themselves.  Many forms of communication can now be achieved without actually being present with the second person (cell phones, Skype, video chatting).  When we look at how people utilize public spaces, we notice a big trend of personal space.

You can see this developing in our day to day habits.  When people sit on buses,  single passengers will quickly snag the double seats for themselves.  Others aren’t too prone to sit next to strangers.  Instead, they will move towards the back, looking for empty double seats.   Another example is how gentlemen use the urinals.  Men will naturally occupy the urinal that is furthest from any other occupied urinal.  We like our private space.

In order to maximize park seating, I decided to re-envision the park bench to today’s private society.  People tend to occupy benches in parks, and others feel awkward sitting next to strangers.  This design breaks the bench up into smaller seats which are further apart.  This gives the public a better sense of privacy, yet all of the seats are still connected to their unifying beam.

The concept of the form is meant to conform to the form of the human spine for maximum human comfort.

A wooden veneer is laminated over the form.  The main form is pressed from thick laminate and two concrete center pieces are inserted for support.  The bent tubular beam holds the benches together and helps protect against theft.

I am not promoting singularity in society, I am merely adapting our surroundings to our personalized social taste.


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