portland, or / 2018
The Unseen questions the common constructivity and aesthetics of a public street bench by incorporating both hard and soft materials to create a duality of existence and evanescence. The structure and frame of the bench is simple, straightforward and durable, made of salvaged steel square tubes (estimated cost $250). By bending the tubes at strategic locations and heights, a diversity of spatial qualities and niches are invented, generating potential spaces for seating, leaning and lounging. Used ropes from local climbing gyms are added through the punched holes on the steel tubes, connecting all tubing parts into an integral piece through a uniquely woven pattern. The climbing ropes, which are usually needed to be replaced periodically in the gym, can be excellent free-of-charge reused materials and still provide the necessary strength for sitting and daily uses. Disinfection and dyeing of the ropes are also easily achievable.
The materiality of steel, the reddish color of the ropes, and the triangulated woven pattern all allude to the canopy structure of the World Trade Center Portland and the brick-paved plaza. The mix of soft and hard materials gives users a hammock-like feeling and level of comfort while maintaining the strength and durability of a normal street bench. When approaching the Unseen from different directions, the woven patterns of the ropes presents diverse visual effects while preserving the transparency and lightness. The Unseen can be a great addition to the plaza and waterfront hardscape, avoiding further imposing heavy objects onto the already concrete-made / brick-paved surfaces.
collaborator: xinzhuo an