Based on a long-term research on the topic of proxemics and distance and inspired by traditional as well as modern benches to be found worldwide, the series of Modified Social Benches emerged.
The Modified Social Benches borrow their basic form from ubiquitous park or garden benches, but their design is altered to various degrees to make the act of sitting a conscious physical process. Thus, the benches question the spatial separations in social situations and challenge the amount of space that people feel necessary to set between themselves and others. With their modifications, the benches transform its surroundings into places of social activity and foster dialogue between the users and the passer-by. People are invited to play an active role by not only "using" the benches as seating but enlarging the opportunities of social practice offered by a bench.
Modified Social Benches for Venice is a continuing bench, although it will only be visible in certain places. A series of different bench designs will be connected in a continuous imaginary line. In some places the bench sinks into the ground gently ascending elsewhere, thus creating the impression of running underground.
In a figurative sense, the benches seem to grow out of the Giardini and connect the individual pavilions and the exhibition hall. Due to the high recognition value of the single benches, visitors will be given a feel for the area allowing orientation when exploring the site and making them smile at the same time.
The Modified Social Benches for Venice offer an excellent opportunity for social interaction, for playfulness, laughter as well as communication and thus can be a sign for understanding and dialogue, for empathy and love - a tool that is needed in time like these.
Materials: Powder-coated aluminium
Modified Social Bench for Venice #01: 145 x 561 x 532 cm
Modified Social Bench for Venice #02: 87 x 561 x 532 cm
Modified Social Bench for Venice #03: 175 x 532 x 240 cm
Modified Social Bench for Venice #04: 151 x 784 x 337 cm
Exhibited at 58th International Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia, May You Live in Interesting Times, Venice, IT, 2019