Benches aren't the first thing you think of when it comes to objects with creative potential. You sit on them for short periods and never think twice about its look. However, the world of bench design is becoming a playground for New York landscape architects and artists, creating interesting designs that make people take a second look.
There are now exuberant benches specially crafted from molded fiberglass sitting in Riverside Park South. Sculptor Mike Gibian created a double-sided nest-like bench for a promenade in TriBeCa. Hammocks are seen all over Governors Island. The High Line has long wooden seats that are frequently used by visitors.
People say that bench design has become a trend because the city reclaimed its waterfront and reformed plazas with contemporary designs. Also the drop in crime and lower profile of homeless people have helped people look at benches with new eyes. The new styles are mostly seen in areas of New York that have seen recent renovations, while older areas feature standard designs, most based on benches out of the 1939 and 1964 World’s Fairs. But the city has been making a noticeable effort to commission artists for new benches that ultimately make people take pride in their communities.