Boombench by NL Architects



German designer Michael Schoner of NL Architects has designed a bench that plays music from passing mobile phones via Bluetooth.


The bench was on display at the Urban Play event 2 in Amsterdam, Netherlands, last month.


Urban Play is an international project by Droog Design, created and curated by Scott Burnham and presented as part of ExperimentaDesign Amsterdam 2008.

See a movie about the Boombench here. The following is from NL architects:



For the design of the ‘Boombench’ NL architects transformed a regular piece of street furniture into a sound system.


This seemingly normal street bench reveals its hidden gimmick when it is activated via Bluetooth, allowing the public to play the music on their mobile phones.


Street furniture becomes ghettoblaster and passer-by becomes DJ.








Posted on Thursday November 20th 2008 at 1:55 am by Matylda Krzykowski. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Richard Rowntree

    One reason more for the G’s to hang around the playground.

  • razifohnas

    hehe.. cant have that in Kuala Lumpur. The noise heere is already decibles above usual..

  • xoxo

    well it looks good…

  • Fbot

    Sweet !

  • Joe

    super moi

  • pwnado season

    fantastic idea – love it

  • B

    allthough i normally am not a big fan of NL architects (they tend to take an idea, call it a concept and than make it in its most predictable form) this one really works. I’ve seen it. The target group likes it too.


  • jill

    sound pollution together with bad bench design

  • rudi

    great idea, i like it.

  • sis

    not impressed

  • Brilliant!! hopefully there aren’t too many benches too close! But keep DISCO ALIVE! Very nice!

  • Mariusz

    real cool!!!respect!!

  • Farbtopf-Mandy

    as if cellphone-speakers are not annoying enough

  • Ren

    Just add thugs, tags and drugs

  • TheArchitect


  • Sara Makki


  • Rebecca

    Honestly. Has anyone actually looked at this? I don’t think I can be constructive.
    It is clearly exactly what we need at the moment, with our economy on it’s knees. A bench that plays music, what a fabulous idea! Yes I am being sarcastic.

  • croftdesign

    Now, if you can give this bench a suggestion verbally, like a jukebox, them I’m somewhat impressed. Otherwise it’s just another uncomfortable bench that, this time, creates a racket of sound.

  • münte

    looks nice but function is absolutly crap. why do we need annoying benches with annoying raqpsounds from annoying minigangsters. isn´t it enough to be surrounded of hundreds of annoying mobile-speakers?

  • jt

    awesome! this world needs more of people’s self-centered noise. why dont they make a bench that eats people who are talking on their bluetooth cellphones.

  • What a fantastic idea!

    How would you control it though? – ‘passerby becomes DJ’ – would others be able to interupt your track with one of their own or would it be first come, first served where others have to wait til you get bored of the thing?

  • no no noooo nooo nooo no

  • Maxence

    I like this Design, it’s between droog spirit and Rams principles. It works, it’s usefull, but a little obtrusive. But the place for this piece i very particular…I’m sad when i see those children with cheap sound on telephone.
    Just a beggar could be angry…or not.

  • Matty D

    Rebecca you are 100% right! When our economy is “on it’s knees” we should all stop being creative and ingenuitive! We defineately don’t need any type of entrepenuer-like behavior, and instead everyone needs to dwell on the sad state of affairs! Yes, I am being SARCASTIC.

    I tend to waiver on NL designs, but this is nice. It’s good to see a design that is aesthetic as well as functional. As well the incorporation of technology that is readily available and used by the general public is an appreciated feature. Bravo to NL for a fresh idea!

  • Just what we need: BOOM BENCHES.

    As if the world wasn’t noisy enough.

  • amsam

    So on this one it’s Rebecca and Jill bringing the hate. Thanks ladies!

    The bench doesn’t run to my taste visually, and at first glance I didn’t think the speakers were much more than a gimmick. But on reflection I think this is truly genius. It could really invigorate street/pedestrian life, to be able to hang out with one’s friends on a bench and listen to your tunes, then attract people who like the same tunes– summer afternoons could turn into a series of mini-street parties, one around each bench. It’s much more than meets the eye. Music brings people together, benches bring people together. Subtle genius.

  • geilofuckscool !!!

  • jason

    agree – great idea, it’s one of those “why didn’t I think of that”

  • m

    can’t wait to hack this one

  • great idea, but the design could have been more considered.

  • Cool idea for music fans, But how to control the sound pollution to others?

    I hope my iPhone could be bluetooth-enabled too. :)

  • Dear Rebecca!
    what’s your point?
    The core statement that i can read out of your comment is that you are afraid of the economic crises. Well, we all are!
    This project has been started before anyone even thought about an economic crisis and it costa fraction of what many people lost for instance in iceland, but my point is that this thing has ben used mainly by teenagers from socialy weak backgrounds that are anyhow on the street and are already not well thought off. But they simply got no place to go! On the other hand it was also used by not only them, but just average people on there way to or from work. I have seen the “annoying” teenagers explain the passer by how to work that thing.
    If you say, we don’t need to see 16 year olds on MTV getting two Landrovers for their birthday i agree. But this was a project that was supposed to bring people together. So do you want to tighten up and be all afraid? Its probably going to get worse economically, so everybody will have to think more social and care about their neighboors. Urban play was like that..

  • lulu

    Fantastic! Go, Michael, go!

  • Acceber

    exactly rebecca, thats what we need! if we’re getting more workless people, they need spaces to hang around. Now everybody in this area wants to have an bluetooth mobilephone, $ and a lot of music, $… a perfect bench to get our economy back on their feets.
    What the hell is the relation between a bench and the problems of our economy?
    by the way, are they selling it? or is it just one unique bench?

    It’s fun! I want one.

  • the bench was but as one of the projects of Urban Play for 6 weeks and has already been taken away.
    Droog design organised the whole event, but so far they weren’t interested into making the bench a product. It is just a prototype.

  • eduardo

    good idea, original…
    the problem is only if you have a couples of these on a square,
    with diferent mobile phones,
    one plays opera, the other hard rock…
    is going to be a musical mess, to say the least

    tres bonne idea !

  • That’s creative! Public place means anything other than private property so the place little changes the way you perceive your own place, Music in public place somewhat change your test because you start trying to find interest in that particular music even though you’ve never liked it.

  • Maxence

    It’s a John Cage project…
    A new place for bands to play their music.
    Who like to Rock the party…

  • Love this, pump up the volume!!