People want to feel comfortable when they sit on the park benches. As outdoor furniture evolves, accommodating the changing preferences of the customers, it is no more about making the park benches that are uncomfortable for the vagrants as well as the homeless. A massive shift in the public furniture design, especially in the context of public parks, reflects wider societal changes that are actually positive and leading us to a healthier, comfortable and more inclusive public places. Hence, the role and significance of park benches cannot be denied in this regard.
Some modern park benches like the one hand-designed and assembled for The Plaza at Harvard University, give a new definition of social space. These benches have ergonomic design, serving multiple purposes, like playing, stretching and lounges. These ergonomically designed park benches offer new functions that are only made possible due to revolution in recent design practices such as 3D modeling, fabrication, multi-materials usage and so on. Some of these park benches are developed to be inherently flexible, having flexible forms that can develop a new sense of the community.
The 20th century has witnessed a lot of experiments regarding the human figure and the best reclining positions. Studies have been conducted to explore how a mix of contoured and rigid fiberglass and cement can be developed to make an ideal form. This era has seen some of the iconic chaise lounges also, leading us to a modern landscape for living. Then the use of plastics emerged for popular lounge recliner used for play and pleasure.
For a certain period of time, the park benches were made uncomfortable intentionally to hinder unwanted elements but today, these are more relaxing and comfortable public furniture. There is a huge potential for the new positions in public parks, for instance, with 3D modeling and assembly, new possibilities are being developed.