Henry Grabar is a staff writer for Slate’s Moneybox and a former fellow at CityLab. He lives in New York.
Don't get too comfy.
Designers have gone to great lengths to make public benches uncomfortable, but this is in a whole other league.
German artist Fabian Brunsing's Pay and Sit is just what it sounds like -- a bench for rent. You could not pay, of course, if you were some kind of mystic, in which case Brunsing's concept might sound great.
For a mere half-Euro, columns of silver spikes retract and make -- for a few minutes -- this bench all yours. I'm pretty sure it's a statement about the nature of the public realm, but I can't be sure. With municipal budgets tightening, it could be coming to a park near you.