Originally designed for Fort Point in Boston, Ola was inspired by the maritime and industrial history of the city. The design is reminiscent of a body of water flowing above a bridge-like structure, symbolizing the harmony of both man-made and natural elements. Manufactured in powder coated steel and recycled cast aluminium, the bench is highly durable and resistant to outdoor use while retaining a lightness and fluidity in its design.
UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
This bench, designed following eco-design strategies, takes street furniture to a new level. Equally at home in urban or natural surroundings, the fluid lines create a variety of seating options within one bench. The materials used are recycled aluminium for the base and steel for the seat, chosen for their recyclable properties. The bench has a bright and durable powder coated finish ideal for outdoor use in all weathers, and can be shipped in parts in order to reduce its carbon footprint.
OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
The Ola bench provides a variety of seating options within one bench and its smooth lines invite the user to sit and contemplate their surroundings. The materials and finish used mean that the bench is highly durable and suitable for use in all climates.
PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
The project began with the design phase in December 2012 in Mexico City, and the bench was manufactured in Puebla, Mexico in March 2013. The finished bench was shipped to Boston, USA in April 2013 and exhibited in Street Seats, a walking exhibition around Fort Point Channel, Boston, organised by Design Museum Boston from April-October 2013.
PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
The bench was modelled in a 3D CAD program in order to calculate the shape and curve of each individual piece, and then they were laser cut in steel. A template was made out of wood and metal, and the individual strips bent into shape and welded onto the ribs in the correct order to achieve the curve. A model was made out of wood for the feet of the bench and this was then used to make the sand-cast aluminium feet using aluminium recycled from old engine pistons. The piece was finished with powder coating.
SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
The bench measures 1800 x 750 x 830mm
street bench, urban design, mexican design, urban furniture, street furniture
Ola bench was originally designed for a specific place: Fort Point Channel in Boston. We wanted it to fit in with its surroundings so we investigated the history of the area, deciding to highlight the maritime and industrial history in our design. We visited waterside areas in our own city for inspiration and ideas. Ergonomically we investigated the most comfortable seating positions in order to incorporate them into our bench and create a design with fluid lines, yet strong and functional.
The hardest part of this design was keeping within the constraints placed by the exhibition in which it originally participated. We wanted to design an out of the ordinary bench but the size restraints meant that we had to be very creative in a small space. We used curves to create a bench for both sitting and reclining. As the bench was for export we also had to consider possible transportation issues with the material used; we therefore ruled out wood and chose to use recycled metals.
TEAM MEMBERS (4) :
Hiroshi Ikenaga, Daniel Olvera, Alice Pegman and Karime Tosca
Diseño Neko, 2013.