Pay & Sit: Privatized Benches In Public Space

As one of the students participating in an interface design program, Berlin-based artist Fabian Brunsing designed this rather remarkable privatized bench in public space. To sit on it comfortably, you have to insert a € 0,50 coin. After paying, the pins that prevent people from sitting on the bench will disappear automatically. After a couple of minutes a sound warns the sitter for the end of his/her sitting time, and the pins rise again. Interesting about this ‘Pay & Sit’ bench is that local governments can take big profits from it, and extend control over public space. Perhaps it will be a next step in privatization of public space. Imagine the number of people using this service, which is currently free of charge. Although I like the project I hope it won’t be a large succes, but it could be working at the most crowded places in city centers.

The project expressed in the video below shows is made during a collaboration between the interface design programme of the FH Potsdam and the Parsons School of Design in New York. The aim of this class was to develop urban interventions. The students were asked to define design opportunities in the urban landscape and develop a video prototype that communicates with the intervention.