Softwalks

These chairs, tables and hanging flower pots latch on for easy relaxation.               

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!

This post originally appeared on Architizer, an Atlantic partner site.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. photo: A woman crosses an overpass above the 101 freeway in Los Angeles, California.
    Transportation

    Navigation Apps Changed the Politics of Traffic

    In an excerpt from the new book The Future of Transportation, CityLab’s Laura Bliss adds up the “price of anarchy” when it comes to traffic navigation apps.

  2. photo: Swedish journalist Per Grankvist, AKA the "Scandinavian Malcolm Gladwell."
    Environment

    To Survive Climate Change, We’ll Need a Better Story

    Per Grankvist is “chief storyteller” for Sweden’s Viable Cities program. His job: communicate the realities of day-to-day living in a carbon-neutral world.

  3. Three men wearing suits raise shovels full of dirt in front of an American flag.
    Equity

    How Cities and States Can Stop the Incentive Madness

    Economist Timothy Bartik explains why the public costs of tax incentives often outweigh the benefits, and describes a model business-incentive package.

  4. photo: Bike and pedestrian advocates participate in a "die-in" for better traffic safety in Washington, D.C.
    Transportation

    Are D.C.’s Streets Finally Getting Safer?

    As the District lagged on its Vision Zero goals, bike and pedestrian advocates in Washington turned traffic fatalities into a rallying cry, and got results.  

  5. People in the park at night in front of water
    Perspective

    Nairobi Should Rethink Its Colonialist Approach to Urban Design

    The road being built in Nairobi is for the rich. Even if it will no longer traverse the city’s major park, it’s not the future-thinking urban design that Kenya needs.

×