Bringing People Together with Benches

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Photos courtesy of Jeppe Hein and Shareable.

This article originally appeared at Shareable.

Jeppe Hein, a
Danish artist known for creating experiential art, has put an
interesting twist on park benches by populating the town of De Haan in
Belgium with his eye-catching “modified social benches.” The benches,
which range from the super-comfy-looking to the seemingly unsittable,
are intended to bring people together in unexpected ways and make them
more aware of their surroundings.

While they look enough like traditional park benches to be
recognizable as something you sit on, Hein’s benches have features that
break the park bench mold: tight angles, slopes, missing pieces, loops,
dips, closed circles and more. With their unusual shapes, the benches
are conversation starters and people magnets and they add a fun touch to
public spaces.

Of the benches Hein says, “With their modification, the spaces they
inhabit become active rather than places of rest and solitude; they
foster exchange between the users and the passers-by, thus lending the
work a social quality.”

No choice but to sit … together.

Is it a gazebo or a bench? You choose.

A bench and slide, great for families and hipsters.

The tête-à-tête taken to a new level.

This bench seats many and orders space in the park.

The nap bench.

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