Take a Seat
Windrush Square SW2 1JQ - Canterbury Crescent SW9 7DE - Coldharbour Lane SW9 8QH
CLIENT: LONDON DESIGN FESTIVAL
PROJECT STATUS: UPCOMING
SECTOR: PUBLIC REALM
#RazzleDazzle SING ALONG NOW
Following on from the success of our Breaking Down Barriers installation for the London Design Festival 2016, we return to this years Brixton Design Trail as a Headline Event with ‘Take a Seat’ – before it gets taken away – an exploration and celebration of public seating.
Public seating is often associated with anti-social behaviour. In the past 20 years, many of the traditional street benches have been removed in an attempt to mitigate this issue. As a result, a minority has adversely affected the well-behaved majority and there are very few non-commercial streetscape places left to sit down and watch the world go by. Opportunities to stop, dwell or gather are declining and as a result, social interaction has suffered. Benches that survive the cull, are left to deteriorate, are often subjected to vandalism and receive little to no maintenance or upkeep.
‘Take a Seat’ celebrates the humble street seat, transforming them with a dramatic face-lift. There are few of these seats left and those that are, are often invisible or uninviting to passers-by. With a nod to that invisibility, we intend to give them a ‘dazzle’ makeover. Dazzle, aka ‘Razzle Dazzle’, is a camouflage technique developed for warships in WW1. It’s an unlikely form of camouflage, as it draws attention to the ship rather than hiding it, disrupting its outline, altering perceptions of it. With disruptive thinking as part of our teams’ creative process, the aim is to draw attention to public seating, sparking conversations about how we use public spaces and whether they are user-friendly for all age groups and demographics. We’re working with Mr Dane, our artist-in-residence, who is expanding on the concept to provide ‘reveal’ experiences when standing in just the right spot.
Utilising the London Design Festival as a platform, we want to explore how, through a design-led transformation of an oft-overlooked piece of street furniture, people can reconsider how they engage with the public realm and each other.
‘Take a Seat’ puts public seating firmly back into the public eye. Revitalising street furniture for people to enjoy, recreating a meeting point and a place to chill. A visual transformation that will have an impact on those who use them or simply pass them on their daily journeys. We want to show the street seating some love, in the hope that you show each other some love in return!
FINDING OUR INSTALLATIONS
There are three locations in Brixton to find our Razzle Dazzled seats from September 16th, 2017 onwards…
Windrush Square, SW2 1JQ – nearest landmarks, Brixton Library and the Ritzy Cinema
Canterbury Crescent, SW9 7DE – outside Brixton Police station, it’s right there on Brixton Road
Coldharbour Lane, SW9 8QH – the last street ‘bench’ in Brixton. Diagonally opposite Mama Dough Pizza, outside the Barrier Block and not too far from our Breaking Down Barriers LDF/BDT 2016 installation.
See the map at the bottom of this page for exact whereabouts!
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