Shanghai-based firm MARS Architects designed these awesome pieces of outdoor furniture called "Water Benches." The exterior of the seats are made partially from recycled polyurethane and features grooves that funnel water into the storage tanks inside and also keep the seats drier for sitting. The benches came out of an initiative commissioned by the BMW Guggenheim Lab to provide functional designs for urban areas. In places where access to clean water may be hard to come by, the benches provide a naturally replenished water source. The "Water Bench" comes in 500, 1000, and 1800-liter capacities, with the larger benches featuring underground tanks. The furniture is currently being tested in Mumbai for a "prototyping phase."

Check out the introduction video from MARS Architects below which explains the project, how the furniture works, and why designs like these are important for cultures around the world and the environement:

[via DesignBoom]