Urban Prosthetics: 10 Interactive Public Furniture Designs

interactive public art

These wonderful installations by Ivan Hernandez are perhaps less like artwork and more like thought experiments rendered first as sketches and then made real. Some of them are innovative and useful, others are clever and playful, but each of these ten projects is aimed at examining (and ultimately changing) the way we interact with one another and the urban environment.

interactive urban moving furniture

The chair-lifted barrier is certainly on the more conceptual side of these designs, a humorously way of questioning the ever-more-ubiquitous barriers in urban places. Somewhat more functional is the second balance-based idea shown above: a series of chairs that lift flower pots for others sitting around on the same furniture – a way of inspiring people to do something nice for a neighboring seat-taker.

interactive urban art walls

When not in use as a ladder, why not turn this bulky construction object into something useful by leaning it against the wall and adding shelves? Speaking of leaning, how about adding some simple objects to walls to encourage people to spend more time loitering in public spaces.

interactive mobile urban furniture

A center-pivot tip-prone bench is one way to ensure collaborative efforts to keep from falling over. A portable scaffolding framework could allow vendors to easily set up and move shops but could also be decked out as temporary public sitting and interacting space.

interactive minimalist public spaces

What is the bare minimum you need to make a usable public space? A tree house, for example, really only needs a ladder and a roof right? Likewise, a public library could be something as simple as a box on wheels with one wall that folds down to provide stairs and seating.

interactive urban space designs

Finally, it is not always necessary to render every detail and sanction a specific set of uses up front. These two boxes come complete with shelves, nooks, crannies and in the case of the second one a floor-to-ceiling blackboard – all of which invite participation from people and allow for unexpected and potentially novel uses.

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