Take a Seat is a celebration of public seating & the role it can play in creating positive social interaction & cohesion. By painting the seats we want to draw attention to how we dwell in public space & relate to each other. Can design play a positive & meaningful part in that? Our intention is to get people to slow down, take a seat & maybe strike up a conversation, via the seats transformation, to the person sitting next to you. Dazzle, aka ‘Razzle Dazzle’, is a camouflage technique that was developed for warships in WW1. It’s an unlikely form of camouflage, as it draws attention to the ship rather than hiding it, disrupting its outline, altering perceptions of it. With disruptive thinking as part of our teams' creative process, our aim is to draw attention to public seating, encouraging discussions about how we engage with public spaces & whether they are user-friendly for all age groups & demographics.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
Take a Seat transforms seats in central Brixton giving them with a dramatic make-over. Public seating is often associated with antisocial behaviour & in the past 20 years, many of the traditional street benches & seats have been removed in an attempt to mitigate this issue. As a result, a minority has adversely affected the well-behaved majority & there are very few non-commercial public realm places left to sit down & watch the world go by. Opportunities to stop, dwell or gather are declining & as a result, we think social interaction has been impacted. Benches that survive the cull, are left to deteriorate & are often subjected to vandalism, receiving little to no maintenance or upkeep. We have permission from Lambeth Council to transform 38 seats & 1 bench in central Brixton. They will remain after the London Design Festival 2017 creating a lasting impression & plenty of photo opportunities!
Steps to get it done:
The distributors of the single seats have pledged to send us a prototype to test applications on. We're donating in-kind support! - Source specialist materials to test on the prototype, - Test undercoats, top coats, methods of applying artwork & varnishes to ensure longevity of transformation - Preparation of chairs & sites - Resourcing team & volunteers to enable work to commence - Project manage & ensure correct procedures are adhered to - Razzle Dazzle them all - Generate a report on public seating This playful project will transform seats in 3 locations in central Brixton: Windrush Square SW2 opposite the Old Town Hall, Canterbury Crescent SW9 outside Brixton Police Station & the only street bench left on Coldharbour Lane SW9. The installations are in the public realm – open, free & inclusive 24/7. As a Headline Event for the London Design Festival & a feature of the Brixton Design Trail, it will raise the profile of Brixton as a unique & proudly diverse neighbourhood in London.
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