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hiding in plain sight

a study on ugly, 2023

comfort without heavy structures

hiding in plain sight is a critique of our public life almost exclusively taking place in, on and around steel cubes and concrete blocks, rigid and resource heavy—literal obstacles inhibiting organic social progress.
what if we took one of the symbols of the conventional ‘public’—textiles originally to be used for bus seat covers—and transformed them into a dynamic and flexible structure? a structure that evokes the same sense of safety and comfort that we usually strive for by walling off and shutting in.

we chose to work almost exclusively in this conventionally ugly material, playfully experimenting with all the different ways we can take it apart, cut it up and put it back together again, to achieve different properties and aesthetics. we developed several different types of ropes that we used for their flexibility and strength, but also to weave padding onto the seating area.
from day 1, we worked in place, building and experimenting in full scale. that allowed us to play with the flexibility and spacing of the ropes in relation to body weights and sizes and organically build up a comfortable space. lifting the project off the ground was a natural consequence of experimenting with coziness.
the result is a structure that—while completely open—creates a feeling of safety and comfort and offers a room for mindfulness in public spaces.