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Benny the Bench pic  (6).jpg

Benny the Bench

This project originated from a 3-day cooperation workshop between Folkwang UDK and the P.A.C.T Zollverein Community Center in Katernberg, Germany. The subject was Participatory Social Design.

Our job as designers was to interview citizens from the community and design a chair that would match their lifestyle. Then build it together with them using mostly only hand tools, rough boards, and screws. A style inspired by Enzo Mari's Autoprogettazione design. I worked with a classmate Dimi Haak, and together we designed a chair for a man named Benyamin, who claimed he didn't need one because he had no time to sit down. We tried to create a chair to match his hectic lifestyle (juggling 3 jobs and 2 kids).

We decided to make a stool that one could easily lean against for a quick second without stopping his continuous flow, but that also had the option for sitting comfortably if you had more time and wanted to take a real rest. Benyamin spent most of his day at work; we took this into account and tried to design a stool for this environment, thus deciding to elongate his stool to a bench allowing him to share his comfortability with a coworker or visitor that he would chat with. The final design consisted of a bench stool, standing at a height that either offered to be comfortably leaned against or if the user wanted to sit more relaxed he could climb up and put his feet on the bar below.


Benny the Bench pic  (4).jpg

From "Build something learn something" at Katernberg  Festival

Benny the Bench pic  (3).jpg

Build something Learn something

When we finished designing "Benny the Bench" we promptly fell in love with it.  Dimi and I decided to share the design with as many as possible and created a workshop that we taught at design festivals across Germany. We came prepared with the necessary tools, pre-cut board and build plans. Then we walk the participants

through building their own "benny" that

they can take home with them.

It's completely open source.

just click here to get the info

Check out pics from our workshops.

From "Build something learn something" at Katernberg Festival

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