Crisis Cushions: Rehabbed Emergency Sandbags Soften Up


In emergency situations, sandbags tend to pop up and become a temporary – but essential – part of the landscape. Ubiquitous and useful though it may be, the sandbag can hardly be seen as a comfortable home object.

Antenna Design changed the way sandbags are used and the way they are seen with their SPECTRE installation occupying a cell in a former Torino prison. By ensconcing the sandbags in soft, colorful felt cases and piling them up as furniture, the designers have turned them into playful cushions.

As the name of the installation suggests, though, the colorful sandbags retain a hint of their original purpose. Regardless of how cute, comfortable or useful they have become, they will always remind us of the danger and devastation that they were created to combat.

When serving their new purpose the sandbags can be piled up into impromptu sofas, playful barricades and comfortable napping nooks. The aesthetic is unapologetically whimsical, inviting visitors to rearrange the soft cushions into new and useful configurations whenever the fancy strikes.

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