We have a longstanding interest in work in the public realm and have designed various street furniture systems for private commissions and public competitions. These have included innovative natural resin seating (Osaka), cast aluminium benches (Westminster)and a composite bronze, timber and glass assembly for a bespoke outdoor furniture system (Arts District)as part of an urban regeneration project. These micro pieces of architecture present opportunities for people to rest, relax, get oriented and gather – each in a different manner – but each design demonstrating a clear logic of structural core and modifiable components that offer flexibility to update alter or extend each piece according to site specific requirements.
Our design for new urban street furniture was the result of observing the urgent need to replace traditional street furniture with smarter infrastructure in which digital technologies are embedded, better services are provided and comfort as well as security are considered with more integrated solutions. Self-powered smart urban street furniture can help cities and communities to increase the attractiveness of public spaces by providing public services, information, and connectivity, while at the same time enabling the collection of valuable data for optimizing processes and reducing costs. The application of intelligent materials and technology in furniture and object design has opened up a range of new developments in both domestic and commercial design.