The simple activity of taking a walk in the evening can easily turn from a relaxing leisurely activity to a dangerous endeavor by removing just one element from the streetscape: public lighting. While not often recognized as defining aspect of urban environments, artificial illumination has played an essential role in defining the character of modern cities. Crime control, the appeal of nightlife, the rise of the shop window, revolutionary movements, utopias, and ideals of social equity are all concepts whose development is tightly linked to the history of public lighting. Technological advancements over the past centuries have continuously shaped the appearance and symbolism of streetlamps. Still, the this element has remains a constant throughout its history.
street furniture: The Latest Architecture and News
If the pavement of a sidewalk is a key element for the flow organization, the urban furniture chosen to compose the public space is responsible for the qualification of the place, creating more friendly spaces. Dumpsters, flowerbeds, signposts, benches, lighting, bike racks and so many others help transform a space that, despite being just a pass-through, is also the only public space in most cities.
Local Collective has designed a seating made of clay for the London Festival of Architecture and Network Rail. Unveiled at London Bridge Station, the urban furniture is a result of a “competition organized by the LFA and Network Rail to create public installations that celebrate London’s shared spaces and connect people with playful encounters”.
HUA HUA Architects has imagined a proposal that can reconcile people and public spaces, post Covid-19. The Gastro Safe Zone program aims to awaken stagnant gastronomic businesses by regulating outside eating and ensuring the required social distancing measures. The first prototype has been already installed in the streets of Brno in the Czech Republic.
In today’s crowded world, the aspect of finding comfortable seating in a public arena is a major part of one’s daily activities. A comfortable seating in public helps one relax and reduce fatigue. This social activity, however, may vary with each individual and the kind of space he/she occupies. Most importantly, the nature of the seat ought to cater to every individual irrespective of their age, size or gender. The act of seating is an opportunity for many to boost inter-personal communication and encourage social and cultural bonding between individuals.
From the 4-6 of November, the Mediterranean Real Estate Fair, URBE 2016, featured an installation by São Paulo architect and urban planner Guto Requena. The public artwork, entitled “Can you tell me a secret?” is a collection of temporary street furniture: a phone booth that records visitors’ stories and plays them back randomly into five wooden benches.