This week, through the work of Tod Papageorge I analysed the urban benches in Central Park. He is an american art photographer and published in 2007 “ passing through Eden ” a collection of images he took over 25 years. I was interesting by one part of this book where he presents a series of bench photographies.
Every day we have some opportunities to sit down on the bench in the private or public interior place or in the urban space.On the first time I’d like to mentioned the importance of material used for the design. In Central park , the bench framework is built by steel or concrete, the back and sitting set up by piece of timber. The choice of material has to be specific because it influences the shape and the strength of the design. Besides I think that it’s essential for designer to think about the “ surface appearance ” of each material as well as its temperature to promote the best human comfort. The other features are the global measures , depth , length,height. All of these components influence the usefulness of benches in the interior and urban space.
In the urban planning , each furniture have a particular disposition and direction and manage ours activities and attraction. Through the Tod photography I can make out three type of bench practices.
“ the stop bench “ where people make a break
“ the wait bench “ where people wait someone
“ the pleasure bench “ where people make a pleasant and relax activities.
All of these activities involve a particular posture and human behaviors and I think that some factors influence it, like the global design and several social elements. Indeed, men and women often haven’t the same position in the bench and the design must be adapted to the liberty of human body. The different culture and sex of people influence the practice of bench and I can identify benches like a “ social furniture “ where charming incident take place. In the Papageorge photographies , the majority of sitting are long and promote meeting between stranger, young and old people. But through his picture we can see that people sometimes share the same bench without more attraction and discussion. However it’s also funny to observe that people often choose the same bench and the same place. I think that it’s important to mentioned that benches become a personal sitting in the public space where we can maintain ours habits. Moreover since 1986 there is a new concept in Central park called “adopt a bench “, a project where people can buy their bench and write what do they want on the small metallic plaque. I’d like mentioned again the social implication of this furniture in the urban place. Indeed through this project people can enter in the life of strangers and share a part of memory.
To progress in my study I’d like to compare the interior bench space (airport space and private space) and explore how the surrounding can be influenced the behaviors of people.