The design is clever in its simplicity, though has many diverse benefits. Firstly, it encourages interaction between people that may not otherwise interact. This not only assists in activating public space in a playful and inclusive way, it increases the sense of social safety and belonging. Secondly, it raises awareness of the great quantities of waste that is removed by cleanup services of municipalities on a daily basis. Trash becomes more visible if one of these benches are installed nearby. Lastly, this project enables an easy and positive action from all members of the public. Apart from the obvious practical benefits of cleaning up the streets, people can walk away with a sense that they are doing a good thing. That’s a nice final touch.
As part of the graduating exhibition at Eindhoven’s School of Design, Vastenow’s project was one of many innovative ideas on display. The extensive array of proposals contributed to the overall sense of positivity and progress across the Dutch Design Week Program. As long as current issues are tackled in new and thoughtful ways, the future city is in good hands.