Over my spring break this semester I sat in a lot of parks. I went to three different cities, I looked at gardens, parks, courtyards and anywhere else that was made up of a huge space with lost of people. What I wanted to see was the different types of seats in each place, and each city. The cities included Perugia, Florence, Vienna and Paris. All of these are beautiful and unique cities but very different in the ways they are designed, and the in which the flow of people is directed.
One of my favorite examples was actually at the airport in Vienna. It is strange to talk about an airport when I am just talking about parks, but the seating here really caught my eye. As you walked from one gate to another, from the train there, a small outdoor courtyard is set up. It has fake grass, and very funky green shapes for sitting on or lounging and waiting for your flight on. They each had enough room for a few people, and one could lay down, could sit on or could have their children climb on for some entertainment before flights.
The diversity in seating is interesting, because it provides models for different spaces. In Paris there was a garden with thousands of chairs that guests could move anywhere, giving them the ability to group together or sit alone in the flowers with. All the large parks in Vienna had benches following the curves of the footpaths through the park. Each city was beautiful and had different types of seating, but in each city all of the seating was used. Even at the airport, people were sitting all over the large green glob seats. So is it the type of seat that matters or how that seat helps create the space by providing someone the opportunity to stop in that space and sit for a while?