In the first look, location design frequently incorporates furniture objects with multiple functions and a sense of atmosphere. The incorporation of both factors can be perplexing. If landscape architects and designers use street furniture to their advantage, they may design outdoor settings that are effective and aesthetic.
The incorporation of street furniture into the design of a public space gives it its own identity and sense of place. Frequently, urban areas use street furniture to enhance the aesthetic allure of the roadway. However, if you use these objects with strategy near intersections, they are helpful. Otherwise, groups of people could potentially obstruct the view of passing vehicles. If situated near a road, they should also not obstruct the visibility of pedestrians. Cost, durability, design and aesthetics, placement and arrangement, and function are the five most important factors to consider when selecting and arranging street furniture.
Design Elements of Street Furniture
When designing urban public spaces, it is essential to consider how people of various ages and abilities will utilize them. The furniture placement in a manner that encourages individuals to initiate conversations with strangers is ideal.
The arrangement and selection of public seating can provide such inspiration. To illustrate, the proximity of amenities such as benches, garbage cans, and phone booths to other facilities, such as coffee purveyors, can encourage or inhibit social interaction.
When selecting and arranging furniture, the designer should consider durability, accessibility issues affecting women, children, older people, and those with disabilities, and visibility and sight lines. Special planning considerations are necessary in hazardous or potentially hazardous regions.
Since we are talking about street furniture, the choice of material becomes crucial. It needs to withstand the extreme weather elements and the uncivil sense of the citizens.
Steel offers versatility as a material for shaping and moulding. It has a favourable strength-to-weight ratio, and the shine of stainless steel makes it a popular choice. It is durable, resistant to impact, scratching and corrosion, and requires almost no maintenance. You can easily recycle steel and it has a low life-cycle cost among all other materials.
Unlike metal, wood is a natural material that is warm in the winter and cooler in the summer, making it a popular choice for outdoor furniture. However, it is more susceptible to being burnt, shattered, engraved with graffiti, and devastated in other ways, and after rain, it takes longer to dry than metals.
Plastic is another durable material for street furniture. However, it loses its shine and aesthetic look and deteriorates under constant sun.
The paint and other finishes applied to furniture should not be toxic or readily soiled. Using recycled materials in street furniture helps businesses conserve natural resources and reduce their carbon footprint. It also educates the local people about the significance of recycling. Furthermore, when you need to replace the furniture, you can recycle the materials again, reducing pollution and preserving the environment.
Prominent Types of Street Furniture
Places where citizens congregate, wait, or interact should have benches and other seating options. Empty chairs should blend in with other design elements in public spaces so that they do not stand out. When seated in the middle of a cityscape, one can experience the environment, and it’s bliss than when standing or strolling.
Design elements of benches
Benches incorporate the comfort of the user in mind. A bench’s aesthetic value should also be a core factor. A designer should design the seating furniture to complement its environment because it works as an extension of the property it borders and promotes neighbourhood pride. As a result, merchants are more likely to maintain the bench and the street, enhancing the safety and security of the area.
Standard chair features such as armrests and back support are especially beneficial for older folks. Back supports, contoured seats, and armrests are essential design elements, particularly in settings where people spend most of their time on these seats. They provide comfort when seated and support when standing and falling.
The number of garbage cans in an area depends on the amount of waste generated, the number of people who use the surroundings, and how well the locale is maintained.
Design element of Waste Bins
The paramount characteristic of appropriate waste containers is that they appear to be trash cans; if they merge in too much with their surroundings, people will be unable to determine what they are for. They should be visible while complementing the architecture and other street furnishings.
A high-quality trash can must also be easy to operate, and the finest characteristic of garbage containers should be the ability to empty without requiring rigorous human interaction. It is more convenient to use garbage cans at or below waist level. There should be sufficient space in the opening of the garbage can for individuals to deposit their refuse.
Signage or Information boards
In addition to aiding visitors with navigation, well-designed signage systems contribute to the preservation of the site’s appearance and overall cohesion. They also promote the education of surroundings.
Design Element of Signage or Information Boards
You can use different materials for sign boards. In outdoor areas, carved wooden signs are appealing but are easily damaged or stolen. Plastics can fracture and ignite, whereas metals can deform and corrode. Steel, Stone and concrete are the most resilient substances especially in places like a bus shelter or an ATM Kiosk.
Each sign must be durable and easy to comprehend. In high-traffic or readily vandalized areas, support your signage on both sides.
To ensure the safety of pedestrians, the number and placement of street furniture should be proportional to the area’s foot traffic density. Benches, trash cans, lighting units, signs, and other comfortable seating options are examples of furniture. Combining and coordinating these elements will create a more visually appealing and functional neighborhood.