Article by Aybige Tek – Uiliuili Bench, by Piotr Zuraw, in Wroclaw, Poland. Designers have always known that ergonomic furniture can increase creativity in the people who use it because if people are not annoyed by the furniture they are using they seem to work more smoothly. This very thought is even explained by the International Ergonomics Association, who define the word “ergonomics” as, “the scientific discipline concerned with the understanding of interactions among humans and other elements of a system, and the profession that applies theory, principles, data and methods to design, in order to optimize human well-being and overall system performance.” It was with this in mind that the Uiliuili Bench was created. Each piece is created with careful attention to detail and proportion so that the user has full comfort when he or she sits, leans, or lies down on the bench.
How can a seat that performs as a sculpture inspire creations of public creativity? Located on the Grunwaldzki Campus in Wroclaw, the wooden Uiliuili bench twists and turns to create fluidity. Each piece is calculated and constructed accordingly so that they change when the furniture form changes. The form is so aesthetic that it proves form follows function.
The bench is comfortable and it suits most people’s anatomy while also serving as a sculpture because the shape is unique and natural as well as carefully crafted. The urban furniture turned to an art object because of its unique shape and form and quality. The flexible design of the bench exceeds the expectations that people have of a typical street bench. How is the Architecture of the Seat? Describe the Materials used?
Uiliuili bench is made up of beechwood and steel and opaque lacquer finish. It is approximately ten meters long and as wide as three meters in places. The exact dimensions of the seat are in its width; 270-cm, its length; 960-cm, and its height; 85-cm. The structure has repetition in its parts and by giving colors to its parts it achieves variety in its industrially-design elements. The length can be adjusted because the geometry of it runs on a single axis of space. These parts change in dimensions and angles each time they are combined; it is like the torso of our body, in that it is able to twist and turn.
Concept and Philosophy of the Project:
The bench sits in the library area of the university, and has a presence that is peaceful and smooth to our eyes because of the curvy look of its design. For a library function, seats are crucial elements and when this is placed outdoors, suddenly it becomes a landscape design element which is unique to its location. This seat design is made for parks, landscape architecture, outdoors streetscapes, and playgrounds. The concept of the chair is chairs merged with other chairs forming a fluid structure.
The whole piece looks like a deck of shuffled cards in motion. The design was developed from late 20th-century Polish railway seats. People were lying on these old ones, offending other people, and it was a problem. This design is making what was offensive once in history, a fun thing to do in the 2000’s. It is innovative urban furniture.
What activities can a seat offer to the city?
People do not just sit on this bench; they can sit, lie down, get up and take photos on it, stretch their bodies, they can climb it and jump on it. They can jump because it is strong and durable. The most important feature of this bench is that it can be multiplied into many shapes and forms and colors. Each wood can have color combinations and this makes the design infinite.
It is a free-form object that separates the user from everyday rectangles and squares and takes the body into other feelings due to its ergonomic, natural feel. This can also be a small urban landmark or a meeting point for students. The library being close to it, reading on it is easy and fun. Trendy and modern landscaping is successful when the designed landscape of that area is improved.
What are familiar public urban furniture benches all around the world?
Designers have tried a lot of fun shapes and forms for urban bench designs. There are musical bench designs with music notes on them by Jim Glover, there are tulip-flower-shaped seats by Tulpi Design, also there are a lot of benches that look like something such as books, pencils,or even some animals. This design is closer to curved custom benches. It does follow the precedent benches that have been done before, however because the pieces of the bench change dimensions and twist in angles, it differs from its ancestor benches in a sharp way and creates its own typology of benches for future designers.
How does the public creativity increase?
Uiliuili bench offers a variety of uses and colors and it can even be multiplied in an array of different shapes; if the public takes this creative idea and implements it, the results can be mind-blowing inspiration from this urban furniture concept. Imagine if one person created street lights for a park that also created variety or maybe a piece of garden furniture with many combinations.
Even if the designers don’t use colors, the shadows and texture of the wood frames create variety in their own design. However, if they add a color element to it, possibilities are limitless. How about you? Can you name some of the newest public urban sculpture-like objects with functions that you have started to see in your city?
Full Project Credits For Uiliuili Bench:
Project Name: Uiliuili Bench Project Address: Wroclaw Project Author: Piotr Zuraw Function of structure: Sculpture/seats/Multifunctions Photos: Piotr Zuraw Year: September 2016 Recommended Reading:
- Becoming an Urban Planner: A Guide to Careers in Planning and Urban Design by Michael Baye
- Sustainable Urbanism: Urban Design With Nature by Douglas Farrs
- eBooks by Landscape Architects Network