While skyscrapers and condos may hog the design spotlight in New York City, an awesome project called Softwalks is turning a design eye towards another common city sight, scaffolding. Softwalks has created a DIY kit that allows people to activate pesky sidewalk scaffolding into mini seating and meeting areas. The kit includes a chair, a counter, a trellis, and even hanging flower baskets that connect to existing poles.The modular pieces latch on with ease and quickly turn an unsightly metal-beam fence into a pop-up public square.
When New York's Department of Transportation began transforming traffic-heavy areas like Herald Square and Times Square into pedestrian friendly walkways, people paid attention. Students in the MFA Transdisciplinary Design program at Parsons banded together to test out what could be done to beautify the city's sprawling scaffolding. The team's simple DIY kits allow anyone to install a seat, a counter, or even a bit of greenery on any of the city's nearly 6,000 construction sites. The pieces are lightweight, easy to reuse, and vibrantly colored, making it nearly impossible to not want to get involved. The project also doubles as a sort of public art activity, allowing city-dwellers to brighten up nearby neighborhood construction sites. So next time you're looking for that perfect coffee meet-up spot, grab a kit and make your own!
All photos: Softwalks