Since I’ve done it at length already, I will not wax philosophic about the Dutch. However, I will at least mention that the innovative Batsenmeubel was designed by a Dutchman. Nic Roex unveiled his fabulous bench in 2009. A sculptural composite of garden spades and bicycle wheels, the metal Batsenmeubel translates as Spade Bench. With eight seats and eight partial wheels, the bright green Batsenmeubel looks like a piece of machinery used in the Willy Wonka factory—something to spin out taffy perhaps.
Batsenmeubel. Designed by Nic Roex.
The angled spokes foster visual play; the repetition of lines and circles creates different optical effects depending on one’s viewpoint. The Spade Bench could very well serve as a model for linear perspective—wouldn’t it be clever for designer Roex to secretly replace the standard train tracks with head-on photographs of his Batsenmeubel under the encyclopedia entry for vanishing point? With more and more cities carrying out art in public places, the Spade Bench could supplant those unsightly slat and slab bus benches where one is forcibly exposed to some injury lawyer with a nickname worthy of an amateur boxer (either that or the ubiquitous “Your Ad Here”).
Like the Muungano Bench, the Batsenmeubel could radically alter the way we wait—making our time in limbo a little bit more entertaining. If every purgatorial stint could be at the very least visually pleasing, wouldn’t the world be a much better place? On Roex’s Spade Bench, one might be inspired to plant a garden or cultivate the mind. Resting on the Batsenmeubel, it’s possible to turn waiting into an art.