In Brief

Jeppe Hein's bench designs transform places of rest and solitude into active spaces, fostering exchange between users and passers-by.

Danish designer Jeppe Hein created this series of benches that change social behavior. After investigating architecture, communication, and social behaviour in the urban space, Hein developed ‘Modified Social Benches,’ which share their basic form with the normal park or garden bench but are each altered in different ways to change how people sit on them.

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. Due to their alteration, the benches end up somewhere between a dysfunctional object and a functional piece of furniture and thus point out the contradiction between artwork and functional object.

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