What Do New York City’s New Public Benches Look Like to You?

10/21/2011 1:56 PM |

The new CityBenches. (Courtesy DOT)

  • The new CityBenches. (Courtesy DOT)

Benches beyond the boundaries of designated parks (or in front of coffee shops) are a rarity in New York City, but the Department of Transportation is planning to change all that by installing 1,000 of its just-unveiled CityBenches (pictured). The design, unveiled yesterday by DOT commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan in East Harlem, is by New York-based Argentinian designer Ignacio Ciocchini and features a very specific pattern on its back and seat. It kinda looks like…

The shredding holes on a cheese grater: probably not the image you want to have in mind when sitting down on one of them.

This looks comfortable.

  • This looks comfortable.

The pattern on a waffle iron: improbably, this evokes even greater discomfort and unpleasantness than the cheese grater analogy.

This design is hot!

  • This design is hot!

Stencils: did the city just inadvertently provide inspiration for would-be street artists?

Your readymade stencil kit awaits you on the street.

  • Your readymade stencil kit awaits you on the street.

The thick black stripes on redacted documents: how ominous! Just wait until the 9/11 Truthers notice this resemblance.

What did they take away from this bench?

  • They didn’t want you to see part of this bench.

The lighting in sci-fi movie corridors: also ominous, or maybe just cool.

These benches are the future.

  • These benches are the future.

What does the abstract pattern of irregular lines on the new CityBenches evoke for you?

(Oh, also, you can suggest a location for one of the 1,000 new benches by calling 311.)

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