The New School-Street Seats-Manhattan-NYC 2Photo courtesy of The New School

In the fast-paced city of New York, where people are constantly on their feet, a bench, chair or any place to sit is a welcome sight. For the second year, “Street Seats,” an art installation on the corner of 13th Street and 5th Avenue is the solution for city dwellers who need a place to sit. The installation combines sustainability, functionality and comfort in the concrete jungle.

In partnership with the New York City Department of Transportation, students from The New School’s Parson School of Design, Eugene Lang College and Schools of Public Engagement revived the project as part of the Spring 2016 “Design Build” course.

The “Design Build” course started in 2005 at the Parson School as a way for students to design projects in New York City with nonprofit organizations. This year’s “Street Seats” installation was led by brothers Granger and Robert Moorhead who lecture at Parson’s Summer Architecture Program.

According to Will Wilbur, the public relations manager at The New School, the “Street Seats” project is constructed entirely out of paper tubes. A Pennsylvania manufacturer supplied the tubes for the project, which are made of 100% recyclable material and are themselves recyclable. According to a post on The New School News Blog,”The design direction was selected, in part, because the paper tubes celebrate the temporary nature of the installation. It is anticipated that their lifespan may, in fact, dictate the duration of  Street Seats 2.0.”

The New School-Street Seats-Manhattan-NYC 1Photo courtesy of The New School

2015 was the inaugural year for “Street Seats,” and some of last year’s decking tiles were reused for “Street Seats 2.0,” says Wilbur. The wooden decking of the installation is slightly raised off the ground and provides the base for the chairs and recyclable tubes filled with plants.

There have been efforts in the past to beautify and provide seating options in New York City, including the Pedestrian Walkway at Herald Square last year. The trial project was carried out by the 34th Street Partnership, and led by its Vice President of Design, Ignacio Ciocchini. The organization installed a colorful walkway along 32nd Street in Herald Square and provided 18 CityBenches along the way.

Photo courtesy 34th Street Partnership/Alexandra Gonzalez

Now, read about 13 Outdoor Art Installations Not To Miss in NYC June 2016 and “Please Be Advised: THIS IS A POST.” Connect with the author @jen_bagcal.