From living room to more room
Tuesday, August 29, 2017 Furbaniture designed to get us to rethink urban spaces Calgary
Bigger than furniture, but smaller than architecture, furbaniture will be setting up on Calgary streets next month, challenging how people interact with their environment.
Built by students at the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Environmental Design, these installations will spend a weekend near city hall during the Walk21 conference, which is all about rethinking walkable and liveable communities.
The idea behind this project is, if furniture can make someone rethink how they react and interact with a room, can furbaniture help people rethink how they interact with a street?
“This is the kind of installation that gets people thinking about the city as not just a fun place, but a place that can be reconfigured, reimagined or re-inhabitied in new ways,” explained Joshua Taron, associate professor at the Faculty of Environmental Design. “We’re not here dictating different activities. We just want to put things out as a kind of prompt and see what happens.”
The installations themselves are built on the concept of a folded out box, and then filled out and grown from there. Made from lightweight materials, they can be placed in different combinations and even stacked up to 16 feet high. It’s meant to be a very minimalist design.
The street itself will actually be closed down while the project is on 1 Street SW between 12 and 13 Avenues. Businesses are already working on ways to expand outdoors using the furbaniture. This is part of the Walk21 conference’s goal to find ways to make cities more pedestrian friendly.
“Calgary is at a pivotal point in its development, where it’s looking at moving from a primarily car-based city to one that is more traditional, where walking and other transportation methods like public transit and cycling are coming to the fore,” said Walk21 steering committee cochair, John Brown.
After the conference, the furbaniture will move to the Telus Spark centre, where visitors can rearrange it into their own configurations. These configurations then may be used when the project moves outdoors again, popping up in different locations throughout the city over the next three years.
Walk21 takes place from Sept. 19 to 22.
associate professor at the Faculty of Environmental Design, with furbaniture that’s under construction.