Lin Yao Liao. Bench. March 07th , 2018.
The most important decision that needs to be made in selecting a bench, or any other type of public space amenity, is whether it is needed and whether it will be used. This requires visiting the area and noting the types of seating that already exist; the types of land uses (e.g., shops, offices, residences) that are along the street; and the potential clientele (e.g., office workers, shoppers) in the area who would be likely to use the benches. Locations where people already sit (on steps, ledges, etc.) should also be noted. This type of on-site observation is important in making decisions about where, how many, and what types of benches are needed.
Comfort is an important factor in designing a bench. But how comfortable a bench needs to be depends on how it will be used. For example, on a shopping street where people will stop briefly with packages, comfort is not as important as in a park where people may spend an entire afternoon. Concern for comfort must be combined with other considerations. For example, in an area where teenagers may sit on the backs of the benches, a bench with large slats, which is stronger, should be used, even though for sitting large slats are less comfortable than smaller ones. The general lesson to be kept in mind is that all factors must be considered together in choosing or designing a bench for a particular location.
Thirdly, people can arrange chairs how they like, to sit nearer or farther apart, and move them around to either sun or shade (click on the video clip above to see movable seating in action). This choice allows people to exercise their options to sit near an event, or away in the quiet, wherever they may feel more comfortable. Many times, they will leave them right where they are, or move them just a few inches. Notable examples of movable seating can be found in Paris`s Luxembourg Gardens and New York City`s Bryant Park.
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