Dutch Designer Makes Street Furnishings Fun

John Metcalfe spotlights the work of Dutch designer Thor ter Kulve, whose creative approach to designing street furniture blends utility and playfulness with the aim of liberating public space.

"For a recent graduation show, the Oosterbeek-based designer unveiled a grab bag of strange, funny systems that reimagine ordinary street objects," says Metcalfe. His creations include an attachment that makes a community fountain out of a fire hydrant, and an insert that turns Holland’s most common public trashcan into a cozy fireplace.

"His aim is to give public space back to the people, as he explains on his website:

The term public space somehow suggests that urban environments are open to our free use. The reality is that public space is over regulated. There is little room for free use, no room for play. A serious obstacle is zoning or urban planning with the attached discussions on what is permissible where and the ambition to regulate on this for the long run. To make public space free and a life again I propose temporary intervention making short term use of the plastic possibilities of specific places.

Full Story: Finding Playful New Uses for Boring Street Infrastructure

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