RIO+20 Benches

Bench 1: Cameron Barnes

My concept for the bench is to use reclaimed wine barrel staves and very simple construction to take a sturdy yet collapsible bench. The materials will be oak barrel staves, stone pine supports, mild steel flat bar and galvanised bolts. With the bench being seen at an international conference, my main concern is that the design be locally relevant, showing something that clearly shows its origins as coming from South Africa. Working with a local graphic artist I hope to incorporate a layer of collaged graphics, showing images relevant to South Africa and business or corporate culture. The brief to the artist is to create an additional layer of information on the bench surface, taking cues from the shapes found in the barrel staves and creating graphic interest from a variety of visual distances.

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Bench 2: Abrie von Wielligh & Norman Meyer

The legs are made from old motor suspension while the seat and back is constructed from an invasive wood species. It is covered with woven box strapping that was recovered from shipping yards. Some of the box strappings were collected at a timber yard that sells rare African Woods – many which are endangered and not FSC certified. The legs can easily fold and the backrest and seat simply slides over the extended frame.

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Bench 3: Nic Grobler and Woodstock Cycleworks

As a collaboration between Nic, who spent two years photographing South Africans on bicycles, and Nils who spends all his time restoring old bicycles and recycling bicycle parts, the bench is not surprisingly a bike bench.

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Bench 4: Jacqueline Le Bleu

Jacqueline Le Bleu makes spectacular furniture using recycled wood and upcycled books. Her book bench is a colourful and fun object with a strong message about recycling and renewing knowledge.

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Bench 5: Akari Luig & Ralf Bähren

Their bench integrates three main essentials of japanese culture: Sitting on the (cushioned) ground, blue plastic foil for spontaneous picnics (that cover whole parks in spring during “hanami”) and of course: the overabundance of plastic and cardboard waste from the neverending swell of electronic goods made in Japan. Last but not least it can be understood as a respectful nod to the japanese homeless, who quite neatly construct their intermediate homes of just these bare leftovers – just as tidy as if it was just another house.

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Bench 6: Toons One

I will be working together with another artist from Los Angeles CA. by the name of Tazroc. Both of us coming from the “Lowrider” custom car culture we decided to come with a design for the bench in this style. We will build the bench from wood and paint it in the “lowrider style” with colorful patterns, pinstriping reclaimed car parts and a custom upholstered seat cushion to give it that “true Los Angeles” style. Los Angeles CA is the “auto mecca” and Tazroc and Myself represent the traditional autoworker as well as the originators of the Lowrider culture which consists of African and Mexican Americans.

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Bench 7: Kadir Memis

My bench will be like a bridge, that connects 2 continents. A bridge is so important to me, like the turkish dancing dervish – one foot is solid on one place, the other travels through the world. Therefore my bench shows an important part of my migrant history as well, building a connection between orient and occident – the hanging bridge in Istanbul inspires my design.

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Bench 8: Dirk Behrend

The “poster planks” become a curved seat and back piece to lean on. The upper layer will be a colourful collage of posters. At last, the bench will be covered with clear enamel paint to make it stiff, resistible and waterproof.

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Bench 9: Charlie

Charlie is not a tramp or a homeless person but one might think so when first meeting him. Basically that is one of the only things that bothers him. He says, he is a jurassic worker, doing greenwood furniture.

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Bench 10: Tran Ngoc Oanh & Dieu Linh Le

The symbol of the peach tree belongs to many celebrations in Vietnam, it is a MUST when it comes to Vietnamese culture. The peach tree sums up happiness and luck for the people and gives them a blossom feeling during the springtime. Peaches play an important role in Asian mythology and history, because it is said to attribute magical powers. Everyboy just loves the wonderfull blossoms. And most of the people in Vietnam remember the feeling in their childhood, playing under a or inside a peach tree, sitting on the branches.

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