Brooklyn, N.Y. / DoTank
When San Francisco passed the Sit-Lie Ordinance in 2011 banning sitting or lying on sidewalks, it crystallized a stance that many cities worldwide seem to have adopted over the years, to dissuade public sitting by removing benches or implementing other subtle anti-loitering urban design measures. Enter chair-bombing. This tactic involves placing homemade seating in public spaces “to improve comfort, social activity, and [their] sense of place,” in Aurash Khawarzad’s words. Khawarzad is an urban planner and leader of DoTank, a Brooklyn-based activist design collective that fashions Adirondack chairs from discarded shipping pallets. “These benches are more than places to sit,” reads a note pasted to a San Francisco bench-bomb in protest of Sit-Lie. “They are a visual resistance to the privatization of public space.”
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