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.