parks

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Photography

A Photographer Captures a Decade in the Life of a Single Ukrainian Park Bench

February 5, 2018

Christopher Jobson

All photos © Yevgeniy Kotenko, shared with permission.

One of the most ubiquitous sights in any city around the world is the humble park bench: a meeting spot for friends, a place to grab lunch or perhaps a smoke, and maybe a quick snooze. Usually such mundane activities fade easily into the background of our busy lives and we would hardly stop to notice the goings on around a small public meeting spot, but for Ukrainian photographer Yevgeniy Kotenko, one such bench has turned into rich body of photography spanning over a decade titled On the Bench.

Starting in 2007, Kotenko began to shoot a local park bench outside the window of his parent’s fourth-floor kitchen window in Kiev. Sandwiched between a children’s playground and a walking path, the area proved to be a hotspot of colorful characters. Alcoholics, families, and lovers all congregate on the exact same bench during different times of the day, and when observed with Kotenko’s patient eye an almost Shakespearean drama begins to emerge over a decade of photos.

“I wasn’t thinking of making a series or a project,” shares Kotenko with Colossal through a translator. “I didn’t select any particular time frame or set of situations to capture. Not until 2012 did my friends tell me that I should put together an exhibition of these photos.”

The stark contrast in situations—from a picnic table to an impromtu emergency room—results in a fascinating documentary in the lives of local residents and passersby. “I never invested the photos with any particular intention or idea of what I wanted my audience to see,” Kotenko adds. “They will see what they want to see. These photographs are more like a documentary.”

You can see dozens more photos from the On the Bench series on Facebook, and you can follow Kotenko on Instagram. Thank you to Jen Carroll for contributing to this piece. (via Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty)

 

 



Design

A Public Park in Taipei Welded From Recycled Light Posts

December 6, 2016

Kate Sierzputowski

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From the mass of Taipei’s urban waste comes the project “Swings Park,” a public playground area constructed from dozens of unwanted lamp posts. The project is a collaboration between Taipei-based design studio City Yeast and Spanish art collective Basurma, two groups that aim to produce experimental design as positive activations for a city’s infrastructure and its residents. Fabricated in response to Design Capital 2016, the project was one of six selected proposals from the contest whose mission is to provoke urban evolution through public design.

The playground, located directly below one of the city’s busiest overpasses, is painted bright yellow—a way to break from the monotony of the surrounding architecture. In addition to swings built at four different heights, the structure also includes a multifunctional platform and two hammock-like nets, providing areas for both activity and respite.

“Swings Park” will be kept in its current location through 2017. You can learn more about Design Capital 2016’s selected proposals on their website. (via designboom, Popup City)

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Design Photography

Jenny Odell’s Google Map People

December 12, 2011

Christopher Jobson


Delores Park, San Francisco


Delores Park, San Francisco (detail)


Pier 39, San Francisco

For the past year artist Jenny Odell (previously) has worked in the medium of Google Maps imagery to create stunning prints of cut-out ships, sports stadiums, advertising billboards, swimming pools and other meticulously assembled collections of satellite imagery minutiae. Lately she’s focused on people, specifically locations around San Francisco where they congregate en masse, their ant-like figures filling beaches and public parks. Odell erases all other details of the photos leaving behind only the human footprint. Head on over to her blog to see the images in better detail. (thnx, megan!)

 

 



Design

A Luxembourg Steel Mill Converted Into a Public Park

November 17, 2011

Christopher Jobson

AllesWirdGut Architektur have converted an abandoned steel mill into a sleek public park, leaving many of the old structural remnants in place. The bi-level tunnel bench is especially brilliant. See much more here. (via subtilitas)

 

 

A Colossal

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