Name of Work: Why Sit When You Can Play?

Powder-coated steel RAL 6027, powder coated aluminum bars, HDPE mallets
96”w x 24”d x 18”h

About the Work:
Why sit when you can play? was designed with the intent to take the public park bench, a once static object within the public realm, and turn it into a hub for communal activity. We created the bench to provide a variety of social seating interactions, as well as a musical element containing two octaves of notes that can be played with attached mallets. The bench becomes an iconic landmark that keeps people coming back and engaging with it, its surrounding environment, and each other in new ways. The musical bench is part of our line of custom, playable products that focuses on the existence of play in everyday spaces. These objects encourage people to think about spaces as “PLAYces”: a bus stop, crosswalk, park bench, street light, or just the everyday, in-between sites of life. This series of work prompts explorations on how these potentially “boring” or underutilized situations can turn into stimulating, creative outlets for social interaction and community activity.

About the Studio:
Ryan Swanson is the founder and creative director of The Urban Conga, a Brooklyn, NY-based multidisciplinary design studio focused on sparking community activity and social interaction through open-ended play. The studio achieves this by creating a variety of inclusive, engaging, and site-specific interventions within the built environment. Their work ignites opportunities that bridge divides and begin to break inequities within the public realm by bringing people together.