Pub­lic Fur­ni­ture
Com­pe­ti­tion pro­po­sal, 1st prize

Filt, Swe­dish for blan­ket, is a ge­ne­rous and per­missive plat­form for pub­lic space life. Like a picnic blan­ket on a trampled lawn, it cre­a­tes a sense of place and unity. It is free for all users to uti­lize in a way that su­its them and is ba­sed on a be­lief in people’s in­he­rent cre­a­ti­vity and good will. In terms of form, Filt stri­ves for a ne­u­tral ex­pres­sion, to be a back­ground and sup­port for hu­man ac­ti­vity rat­her than an ob­ject to be ad­mi­red. A piece of de­mocra­tic eve­ryday furniture.

A steel and wood plat­form, the “blan­ket”; a steel tube that can be equip­ped with a num­ber of ac­ces­so­ries, a ta­ble, a ligh­ting fix­ture, a spea­ker, a trash can; electri­cal and mo­bile char­ging soc­kets; a num­ber of hooks to hang things from or at­tach things to; ad­jus­table legs. A ro­bust shape in du­rable ma­te­ri­als well ad­ap­ted for a long life in pub­lic ser­vice both aest­he­ti­cally and functionally.

The simple shape and the open fun­c­tion mean that it can ea­sily be pla­ced in pub­lic spa­ces of dif­fe­rent si­zes and cha­rac­ter. Ho­wever, it works best in si­tu­a­tions where the com­mon room is al­lo­wed to expand: in the square, in the park, on the be­ach, in the schoolyard.

Filt, un­like for ex­ample a park bench, is a flex­ible structure that does not have a pre­scri­bed use. At the same time, it looks fa­mi­liar and is simple to un­derstand, easy to ab­sorb and in­vi­ting to use. By be­ing ra­i­sed from the ground, which is of­ten cold and damp, and lit du­ring the eve­ning, which is of­ten dark, it can help ex­tend the time pe­ople want to stay out­do­ors both year-round and around the clock. The height of the plat­form me­ans that it can be used as a bench and me­e­ting ta­ble over a job lunch. It’s big enough to serve as the base for a small party and at the same time in­ti­mate enough to act as a stage for a first date.