Previously only used for pedestrian security during construction, Sidewalk Sheds (also known as scaffolding) in New York are now the epitome of user- friendly multi functionality.
Bland Hoke and Howard Chambers, both designers in New York city have researched the effects of these sheds on sidewalks and designed outdoor furniture to give these visually unappealing structures more functionality and might I add a bit more aesthetic quality.
The initiative is called the "Softwalks" activation project. The project is aimed at making full use of these temporary structures. The project consists of a "Kit of Parts" that includes chairs and planters, among other things, to make the public space more functional and user friendly. Adding these features to sidewalks occupied by sheds will allow people in the city to do what we do best: socialize and drink coffee.
"We discovered that when people see a function in a structure they generally appreciate it more" says Hoke and ChambersThis was the key idea behind their designs and who can argue against it. A design without functionality would literally be useless.
The project still on-going and is used to empower the general public and business owners to decide what is needed to make their environment useful. The project concept was launched in December 2012, but is only getting into full swing now transforming these construction sheds into social hubs.
This will be sure to change the way we look at scaffolding the next time we see it. We will wish that we were in the streets of and New York, could sit down on a bright green foldable chair and enjoy our coffee, all of this under a construction shed.
This outdoor design might even go beyond the streets and become household furniture due to the easy going, portable and environmentally friendly design.
Although It sounds to good to be true it will change construction sidewalks forever. There is no reason why this project should not be implemented internationally to improve sidewalks by adding little pop-up parks everywhere.