bench project

If benches are, by definition, for use by more than one person……………. then why on earth are they all straight?!?!?

We appreciate that there is a place for the traditional “public” bench – we have all seen so many of them that we often do not even notice them. They are always straight, a bit visually unexciting and often not actually that comfy but people choosing a memorial bench for their loved one in the park normally go for the oak ones so they obviously hold a special place in the public’s heart.

Our proposition, however, is that some benches in some key hub locations should be different.  Our benches are designed in messy art workshops with local community groups so they fulfil their needs and encourage them to take ownership of the finished bench.  They are then local-made with a galvanised steel sub-frame (cos it breaks my heart to see all the legs rotting off all the benches in all the parks just because councils don’t add metal feet!) and English oak slats for the seat and back which can quickly air-dry when it rains (so that the wood lasts for decades!).  This oak is needs-must felled locally by the volunteers of the fantastic Greenways Countryside Project (no transporting timber half-way around the world for us!) and the slat design simplifies and minimises maintenance.

And when installed, the unique, original designs of our benches draw people to sit on them and our trademark curviness means people sit aligned in a way that encourages…. but doesn’t force…. conversation so people linger longer out of doors in a convivial, community-friendly space that is free to use and democratic……. with all the wellbeing gains that brings.

So, can someone please tell me: why on earth are all the other benches straight?

Click “Read on” for news of our 2020 Munnings Museum/Dedham Vale AONB/Arts Council project….

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