Glamorizing the 'Humble' Park Bench

The semi-finalists competing to design an iconic ‘street seat’ for Boston's growing Innovation District have given "the city a glimpse of what the often-overlooked park bench could be when reconsidered through sustainable, beautiful design."
March 9, 2013, 11am PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Emily Badger shares images of the 20 "semi-finalists" selected as part of a design competition for the Fort Point Channel in South Boston, which is being supported by the city and run by the Design Museum Boston. According to the organizers, "The goal of the challenge is to improve the livability of this burgeoning urban area, using design, while being socially and environmentally conscious."

"More than 170 groups from around the world submitted entries to the competition," notes Badger. "All 20 'semi-finalists' are shown in the slideshow below (during the public unveiling on April 27, a selected winner and runner-up from this group will also be given cash awards). These benches were all sustainably designed, many of them using reclaimed local materials. And submissions from as far away as Georgia, Washington state and Italy have found ways to pay homage to Boston's shipping heritage (and the Fort Point Channel scenery), suggesting that the basic park bench could in any city be both infinitely re-imagined and locally distinct."

The semi-finalists have the next month (and $750) to fabricate full-sized versions of their designs, says Badger.

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Published on Friday, March 8, 2013 in The Atlantic Cities
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