Bench Made of Undulating Scaffolding Planks Invites Pedestrians to Take a Seat

Please Be Seated by Paul Cocksedge

Designer Paul Cocksedge invites the public into his world with his new public installation Please Be Seated. As part of London Design Festival, Cocksedge has created undulating, concentric benches from upcycled scaffolding planks. Part sculpture and part furniture, its scale invites people to walk under it and sit on it—just as the installation's name requests.

It's an ambitious piece that's located in the heart of Broadgate, London's biggest pedestrianized area. Fusing technology and design, Cocksedge collaborated with interiors company White & White to transform the scaffolding planks into the wood for the installation. By taking this often discarded material and creating a high-end design piece, Cocksedge is demonstrating that good design isn't just about expensive materials.

While conceiving the installation, which is part of London Design Festival's annual Landmark Projects, the designer carefully examined the space and how it was used by the public. The resulting design aims to enhance the space without overwhelming it. “Every single aspect of the installation is tailored to its environment as well as the function it serves,” Cocksedge says. “The curves raise up to create backrests and places to sit, as well as space for people to walk under, or pause and find some shade. It walks the line between a craft object and a design solution. It occupies the square without blocking it.”

Nearby, at The Space | 3FA, an exhibition of Cocksedge's work—including studies for Please Be Seated—will be on display for the duration of the festival. As for Please Be Seated, it will remain in Finsbury Avenue Square until October 11, 2019. Once the piece is dismantled, all of the scaffolding planks will be recycled by White & White.

In the meantime, Cocksedge hopes that the public will make the most of his design piece and that it will help them think differently about the way wood plans can be used. “I hope that people will feel comfortable interacting with the structure, that they will come and sit on the curves during their lunch break, that children will play hide and seek after school, or that people stand under the curves for some shade on a sunny day,” he shares. “The more the installation plays a positive role in Broadgate’s public life, the more I will see it as a success!”

For London Design Festival, Paul Cocksedge has created a sculptural, functional public installation

Please Be Seated by Paul Cocksedge

London Design Week by Paul Cocksedge

Please Be Seated is made from upcycled scaffolding planks.

Whether lounging on the benches or moving beneath the arches, the public can interact with the design.

Please Be Seated by Paul Cocksedge

Installation for London Design Week by Paul Cocksedge

London Design Week by Paul Cocksedge

Paul Cocksedge: Website | Facebook | Instagram

All images by Mark Cocksedge. My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by London Design Festival.

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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