Meet the Designers: Sitting Pretty



In Autumn of 2020, the LFA ran a competition for architecture and design students, recent graduates and emerging practitioners to consider engaging and imaginative seating solutions that could add value to and maximise the possibilities of the under-used public space within stations.

Following their recent install, we caught up with the winning designers to find out the stories behind the benches. Click on the videos below to hear the conversations.

Alternatively, you can download the Sitting Pretty self-guided walking tour by heading to our Building Sounds podcast feed via Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify Pocket Casts, or by searching for ‘Building Sounds’ wherever you normally get your podcasts.

Reclaim, Re-invent, Re-purpose by Armor Gutierrez Rivas

This bench takes inspiration from the complex relationships between railway lines, stations and the cities they serve. The design treats reclaimed timber track sleepers with steam bending and digital CNC forming techniques, creating geometries that recall snaking railway lines, and offers a modular system allowing multiple configurations in different settings. Reclaim, Re-invent, Re-purpose is supported by Shadbolt, University of East London and Kohn Pedersen Fox.

Sitting on London’s Clay by Local Collective Studio

Local Collective’s seating uses London clay – a natural material found beneath Londoners’ feet – to offer a social furniture that is breathable and sustainable. The bench’s modular system offers different arrangements, while the materiality of clay improves indoor air quality by absorbing humidity and toxins. In response to climate change, Sitting on London’s Clay encourages a re-think about centuries-old construction techniques and materials. The bench is supported by Pro-duck, Clayworks and Guy Valentine.

ConvoStation by The United Suburbs

ConvoStation is a brightly coloured oversize rocking chair, and a fun station bench where people – parents with children perhaps – can pass the time while waiting for friends or a train. At a time of social distancing, it reminds us of the joy of safe human interaction, while generating an awareness of the spaces around us through motion. ConvoStation is supported by Universal Spraying Ltd.

Lacuna by Nick Tyrer & Victoria Philpott

Waterloo Station Nick Tyrer and Victoria Philpott have brought together seating and striking planting through a design that offers a spatial experience while remaining functional and comfortable. Lacuna offers a sense of security and personal space on a large station concourse, while also creating a much larger visual impact upon the identity of the station. Lacuna is supported by James Lathams and Garnica, and fabricated by Raskl.

Beluga by Hyelmo

Hyelmo and Ai Build have combined their expertise in digital fabrication and 3D printing to create seating that challenges the way furniture in the public domain is produced. Beluga explores the application of 3D printing to bioplastics to create waste-free furniture, offering limitless forms and intriguing passers-by.




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