Thoughtfully Designed Bench Wins Design Challenge

The Street Seats design challenge invited participants to reimagine the public bench. Entries were submitted from around the world. There were 200+ entries from 24 countries on 6 continents and from 22 U.S. states. Among the participants were design firms, students, and individuals who answered the challenge. A high-caliber panel of jurors have announced the winning entries!

Designs of 15 semi-finalists will be fabricated and installed around the World Trade Center and Tom McCall Waterfront Park. Kyle and Alyssa Trulen’s team entry (A Quiet Place to Sit and Rest), a design featuring Thermory, was selected as the Grand Prize winner. Congratulations!

Designing A Quiet Place 1500x

Good for Trees and for People

The seat encourages each visitor to establish a relationship with the tree and to spark the hope of a healthier urban environment for both people and trees. This urban bench is one of the “PGE Select” which means it will stay on site forever. The 3 inner layers of the bench around trunk of the tree are designed to be removed as the tree grows.

  • This seat helps urban trees thrive by:
    • limiting soil compaction
    • protecting bark as the tree grows
  • This seat provides a place for people to connect, observe, or simply rest
A Quite Place to Sit and Rest - Entry in Street Seats Design Challenge - Design Museum Portland OR

A Quiet Place to Sit and Rest

The bench design was inspired by the children’s book, “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein. The illustrated book shows the evolving relationship between a boy and a tree whose happiness comes from helping the boy throughout his life. As an old man the boy returns to the tree. He no longer has the energy to swing from her branches. The tree apologizes for having nothing to give. The boy simply asks for a quiet place to sit and rest. That she can provide. The boy sits on her stump and the tree is happy.

Learn more details by viewing the poster for A Quiet Place to Sit and Rest.

A Quite Place to Sit and Rest - Street Seats Design Challenge Poster - Design Museum Portland OR
Erik Nelson with Thermory bench and designers of A Quite Place to Sit and Rest

Thermally Modified Wood

Thermory products are unrivaled in environmental responsibility. Thermory is the industry leader in thermal modification, and invests in the latest thermo-treatment technology, manufacturing and installation techniques.

  • 100% harvested from sustainable and renewable forests
  • Chemical-free process
  • Responsible, yet sophisticated alternative to exotics

Thanks to HDG’s vendor-partner Thermory USA for furnishing the thermally modified Ash and Scots Pine used in this design.

Experience the Exhibit

image of Design Museum Portland LogoStreet Seats: Urban Benches for Vibrant Cities
Free Exhibit by Design Museum Portland

Model Gallery: June 7, 2018 – August 31, 2018
Outdoor Exhibit: August 9, 2018 – February 2019
World Trade Center Portland & Tom McCall Waterfront Park
121 SW Salmon St. Portland, OR 97204

“Always design a thing by considering it in its next larger context – a chair in the room, a room in a house, a house in an environment, an environment in a city plan.” – Eliel Saarinen, Finnish Architect (1873-1950)

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Architecture, design challenge, living cities, street seats, sustainable city, thermally modified wood, thermory, thermory-projects, urban bench, urban design, vibrant cities
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