HOLLAND VILLAGE, SINGAPORE
More than a furniture, a bench creates space for people of different background to gather and interact with one another. However, the design often forces everyone to sit the same way, even when we all agree that everyone is born differently and unique to themselves. In this case, a bench designed to be universal is not as universal as it seems, for universal means designing in respond to all needs, not to general needs. From this perspective, a bench thus should be the expression of our society and cultural ecosystem, celebrating pluralism and multi-culturalism.
As such, how can a bench demonstrate such level of richness that our community and context portray? The design hence takes cues from the story of Holland Village, reflecting the vibrant energy resulted from the interactions of things, identities, histories, and peoples that form the melting pot it is today, translating the urbanscape to human scale furniture. Taking the form of multiples individual seating intersecting and interacting with each other in an instinctive manner to form collective seating, people are invited to explore the ways of using it themselves. The bench is designed to represent an informal social space, where human interaction is driven by spontaneity.
“More than a furniture, a bench is a social space, and thus as a social space it has to enable spontaneous interactions between the users and with the bench. It should serve as a representation of our community value in celebrating pluralism.”
“A furniture tells the story of its context as a tangible construct. It should respond to the context by capturing the image and synergies of its surrounding and translating it into an interactive object that is empathetic to human experience.”