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Sliding Bench Probes Social Behaviors

The concept behind Sliding Bench is something that’s applicable in many different venues: doctor’s offices, airport terminals, and bookstores, to name a few. In gathering places, seating arrangements should be adjustable—even (perhaps especially) when they’re not.

Sliding Bench. Designed by Mutlu Kılınçer.

Sometimes, you arrive in a group of three, other times in a twosome, and still others alone; sometimes you’re group may be quite large. And common areas should accommodate the specific number in your party, which is why a modular system that’s also easy to use should be the standard in public spaces. Turkish designer Mutlu Kılınçer recognizes this with his Sliding Bench, a rail system with built-in seats that slide into different positions, turning a specific number of seats into a plethora of seating arrangements.

Intended for “parks and in-park pathways,” Sliding Bench uses a combination of materials to work with and against its natural setting. The rail system appears to be constructed of stainless steel, while the slatted chairs look to be made of wood—and this juxtaposition of man-made and organic elements keeps Sliding Bench in good balance, able to meld with the outdoor milieu while still providing enough contrast. Guests can move seats closer to each other in order to create a gathering for their group—or to get to know a stranger a little bit better. Of course, the converse is also true: people might move their seats far away from each other in order to maintain their sense of solitude—or to escape from an undesirable stranger. Sliding Bench might provide fodder for anthropological experiments the world over. Will people have the courage to slide closer to an attractive visitor? Will they have the nerve to distance themselves from an odd foreigner?

Via Industrial Design Served.

Posted September 20th, 2010 by Alicita Rodriguez


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  • Peter

    I think the seats should have magnets on the sides with match polarities facing one another so that the seat units would tend to space themselves evenly when not in use, thereby providing a neutral message to new users.

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