Working assumption #1: seating facilities in public areas sum up to rigid benches, where comfort is not often a priority (and in most cases the opposite is the case). There are no alternative ways of sitting even in leisure areas and parks, where we'd rather relax and sit more comfortably.
Working assumption #2: Play is free, is in fact freedom. Play is essential to our well- being. Play is mainly associated with children, playing elements in public space, if provided, are always scaled down to kids’ size.
Working assumption #3: Placing things in the public realm is the most democratic incarnation of design: it’s free and accessible for all. This is where we as designers want to operate – this is where real difference can be made.
We took the opportunity of a residency period in the Danish Art Workshops during spring 2013, to try and come up with a project that aims to fill what is so obviously missing from our public space.
In short, Off-ground are playful seating elements. Off-ground is about up-scaling playing elements combined with seating alternatives; hanging, floating, swinging, laying- one size fits all. Each seating-element can be easily shifted between a low seat, a hammock and a swing, and change according to the user's needs. Sustainability is always integrated in our way thinking and designing, in this case using rejected fire-hoses as raw material for the seats.
The Off-ground installation shows a different approach to the way public space is perceived and used, basing the design on a true and banal need, but implementing a solution that is functional and playful. Off-ground features this summer in two locations in Copenhagen: at the DAC, Danish Architecture Centre and at Carlsberg City. The reaction from people who has encountered and used Off-ground has further encouraged us to take the project to more locations.
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