The seating, designed by New York-based designer Joe Doucet, was built at Time Square for NYCxDesign as a discreet way of protecting pedestrians in public areas. The benches, which weigh over one ton and are attached to each other by steel rods, remain linked and skid along discs to form a barrier when hit by a vehicle.
Judges comments: "Rely considers the changing needs of urban spaces and how they can be divided intelligently. By turning a barricade into useful seating and then integrating it into a public space, the project invites people in and encourages them to inhabit the area. It transforms something functional into something that is also well-designed and beautiful."
"A lot of design around this specific issue is big and bulky, but Rely is light and transformative, adaptable and original. We like that the project attempts to subvert fear by turning a negative into a positive. It allows people to claim a space that is otherwise being taken from them."