‘Street Furniture’ Reclaims Hamburg’s Streets for the Public
March 2, 2012
Urban studies 101: if you let them sit, they will come. This is the delightfully simple concept behind Oliver Show’s “Street Furniture,” a series of guerilla public seating areas that sprouted into being through the wrapping of yellow drainage pipes around Hamburg’s existing urban infrastructure. The low-cost, weather-resistant and highly flexible plastic cushions turn bridge trusses into recliners, bike racks into loungers, and safety rails into sofas. Moreover, the bright yellow accents bring attention to the commercialization of the city’s public space. Show’s ingenuity won the former architecture student a design award from the HFBK Leinemann Foundation for Education and the Arts.
“The interventionist and experimental approach to me is more important than the quest for a ‘perfect’ product,” he tells Der Spiegel. Show’s Street Furniture presents itself as a tool, an empowering design concept that has been almost effortlessly realized. The emphatically lackluster nature of his material draws attention to the resourcefulness of its application. His squishy yellow pipes tactfully reclaim public space for the public.