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We are accustomed to urban furniture being fixed in place – benches bolted to the sidewalks and trash cans far too big to carry off even if they are not tied down. But what if you could have a hand in shaping the city environment around you, personalizing or customizing it based on your own everyday needs?

This set of custom hydraulic benches was designed by carmela bogman and rogier martens to put a DIY element back in the hands of the broader public, allowing people (tall, small or anywhere in between) from a local neighborhood community to interactively raise and lower the seating heights as they wish.

Rectangular aluminum seats are attached to round support columns that extend into the ground below street level and can be moved up or down at slowly and safely with the turn of a handle in a nearby utility box. More than being neat and unusually functional, these urban benches help bridge the ever-present gap between private/adjustable and public/static furniture design.