Flexible Outdoor Design Furniture From Sweden

Thomas Bernstrand’s Stockholm-based design studio came up with this so-called Share Portable Park Chair. The Share Portable is a very simple and smart combination between a public bench and a shopping trolley. The system requires users to insert a coin to release a chair from the chain. The coin is given back when they return the chair. The Share Portable Park Chair allows urban furniture to be flexible — people can choose where to sit themselves. According to Dezeen, Bernstrand has presented the prototype with outdoor furniture brand Nola at last week’s Stockholm Furniture Fair.

The idea is pretty similar to an urban intervention by the Dutch artist Vincent Wittenberg and Israeli/Australian artist Guy Köningstein for the International Biennale of Landscape Urbanism in Bat Yam, Israel, in 2010. Although the concept is pretty much the same, Bernstrand’s design is worked out better and made for mass production to serve all kinds of cities around the world.

The fact that these chairs are ultra light and look good might also be the weak point of the concept. In the end 50 cents or 1 euro is not that much for a good-looking chair. When placed in Amsterdam I would give them a few days before they’ve all ended up in private gardens around the city. The Share Portable concept plays with the limitations of good behavior and trust in public realm. And although the concept is very nice, I think it still needs a semi-public setting or some kind of ownership to successfully implement this product.