“Nothing is stronger than an idea whose time has come” said Victor Hugo, famous author of Les Miserables and the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Even though he was talking about crime and punishment in the mid-nineteenth century, the sentiment stands, or given this post’s topic, sits. A recent flurryof mediaattention and a nationally-trending hashtag (#SitTO) has finally started a long overdue conversation about Toronto’s public spaces, namely their lack of public seating. See, while Toronto has no shortage of engaging streets, vibrant neighbourhoods, and dynamic public spaces – seriously check out footage from Jurassic Park during the NBA playoffs – there’s very few places where you can take a load off. Here’s a few reasons in no particular order about why that’s a problem and why you should care about this in the first place.
Dutch studio MAXWAN designed three bus shelters with concave and convex “razor-thin” rooftops in Rotterdam aptly named “Canopies”. The pastel-pink Bus Station Canopies are located on a patch of tarmac outside a new bus terminus in Rotterdam Central District, providing seated shelters for 40 waiting passengers. Continue reading →
The Acoustic Shells were designed by London studio Flanagan Lawrence to facilitate community events and provide residents of the West Sussex town with a scenic resting spot on the edge of a sunken garden, between the town and a beach facing the English Channel.Continue reading →
“Il Treno Fuori” by Tjep is a second generation design evolved from the Amsterdam-based practice’s original concept “Il Treno”. Italian for “The Train”, the piece drew much interest at Milan’s Salone del Mobile 2013. Conceived to be experienced indoors, suggestions from visitors led to a makeover following the design event’s closure and it was re-imagined for the outdoors. Presented a few months later at Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven, the title of the new rendition was aptly adjusted to “Il Treno Fuori”, which means “The Outdoor Train”. Continue reading →
“We had in mind a place that can be used by all residents, from shopkeepers to a local neighbourhood band. A place for the people to enjoy and experience everything a community embodies.” —Tjep Continue reading →
Here’s our weekly review rounding up the best stories and ideas in public space from cities around the world. This week we bring you an appeal for humane architecture, street chairs of Cairo, a classy flash mob in Spain, and an idea from 19th-century Rome to flood the city on hot summer days.
Maybe I’m lazy, but the first thing I do when I get to a park, plaza or other public space is look for a place to sit down. But it’s amazing how many public spaces get seating so wrong. It’s shoved far off in a corner, or plopped in the middle of open plazas where you feel like you’re on display, or, worst, there isn’t any at all. Many times I have wished I could just uproot a giant concrete bench and drag it to where I wanted to sit.