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!”