Plug-in Bench

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada  |  July 2015









Completed / Winner - The Bench Competition

Street Furniture


751/753 Corydon Avenue,

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

FABLab, University of Manitoba

24' x 4' x 3'


Publicness can be aroused by participation. Street furniture is generally stationed with defined use. "Plug-in Bench" questions the fixed use of the furniture, and allows the public to engage actively and re-configure the provided form of furniture by plugging in modules of planes.

The original form of "Plug-in Bench" is a stack of 1/2"-thick plywood sheets with 1" gap in-between. The furniture is consisted of four sculptural figures, part of which is already designed as seating surface. The public engagement comes in from using 1"-thick plywood pieces to create single or multiple seating surface, table, and bar. The plywood piece can be inserted into any slot between the stack of plywood. User can configure by using different dimensions of plywood or inserting at different height.

The assembly requires three main components; plywood, threaded steel rods, and nuts and washers. The vertical steel rods with welded base plate will hold the plywood in place, and the set of nut and washer components will maintain the 1" spacing.

Depending on the time of use, "Plug-in Bench" could offer a sculptural public art when not in use, outdoor bench/table in use, or street light fixture at night. Functional variety as well as flexibility in its use will motivate the public to engage more actively with the pieces and enliven the streetscape.