urbanK is a bench to be used to engage with the public space (street, square, park, …) during the day. For this reason we are seeking to collaborate with the public, with the municipalities and other public administrations.
Benches cannot survive without streets, they define one another and serve one another. The street encompasses a fundamental principle of space. The street is the most essential and most ambiguous urban spatial unit. It is the primal site of exchange, the buying and selling of commodities, the place of constant transit and the meeting place.
Citybenches fulfill many street complementary functions, they invite you to sit and rest, but also to observe, to meet, to engage with others, to have a conversation… They are the most fundemental and the primal object for the public space. However, not all of their functions are always needed or desired. Many benches, with their advantages, attract groups late in the evening and during the night. It gets quite noisy and the rubbish is scattered across the street at sunrise.
And not only to the annoyance of the residents who do not find peace at night, but the city cleaning department also has to deal with such urban challenges. To address an actual problem that rose in Frankfurt Höchst in 2016 we created a flexible city bench that is brought out into the street in the morning by the shopowner to transform the public space and encourage social cohesion during the day, before it is rolled back into the shop in the evening. The bench not only serves as primal urban furniture, it also comprises an attractive whiteboard for owner’s advertisements or statements. This engagement between the city, the public and the shopowner actively enhances the quality of the furniture. The design directs the cohesion and encourages that engagement.