The Playful Bench / MAPT and Sune Petersen

Copenhagen-based architectural office MAPT is behind the concept and development of the first interactive bench; one that invites you to play, move and experience the urban space in a dynamic way. The bench that changes color and pattern as people pass by has sprung up in Copenhagen’s “Islands Brygge.” The design became possible with the collaboration with designer Sune Petersen.

Read on for more about The Playful Bench after the break.

The bench is situated at the newly restored urban space above the underground parking facility in Leifsgade, Island Brygge in Copenhagen. The idea for the interactive element arose when the Municipality of Copenhagen had to restore the urban space after completing a two year building process of an underground parking facility. “We’ve been fascinated by urban spaces that communicate with people, for a long time. As a starting point, we chose something that was already out there, the benches, and then made one of them come to life. When people walk past the interactive bench, it lights up and lures with play.” says MAPT.

© Lars Engelgaard

“The playful bench” is a classic Copenhagen bench, which in this case, to give the colors and patterns a perfect background, is untreated oak instead of the traditional painted green. Through technology it is brought to life and engages in dialogue with people who pass by.

© Lars Engelgaard

The bench has three different games. One game is a painting game. Colors appear on the bench when people move their hand over portions of it. These “paintings” are displayed when the bench is left alone, and can be found on the bench’s facebook page. The second game requires more physical activity. Each board on the bench is lit up by a flashing bar code. The faster you run past the bench the more acceleration will be displayed on each board. The last game requires patience. When a person sits down on the bench different light particles curiously approaching where the person is seated. They come closer and closer until the bench explodes in a sea of lights.

Courtesy of MAPT

”The playful bench” can be explored every day when darkness falls, and is active daily from 5 pm to 10 pm. The urban space where the bench can be found is situated in Leifsgade on the stretch between Bergthoragade and Gunløgsgade.

Courtesy of MAPT

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Cite: Irina Vinnitskaya. "The Playful Bench / MAPT and Sune Petersen" 03 Feb 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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