Street benches are essential fixtures in any urban environment — after a whole day of walking around from place to place, it sure feels great to rest your feet and take a break. Architecture instructor Steven Ma developed an amazing concept bench that infuses nature into pedestrian traffic zones by creating a self-sustaining eco-system that envelops sitters in living and growing plant-life. Inspired by the mobius strip, the ec-O bench collects and filters rainwater and harnesses sunlight using thin-film photovoltaics, creating a welcoming resting spot even when it’s dark outside.
The ec-O bench generates electricity through solar panels that are embedded into the top of the extended structure which hovers above the suggested seating area. These panels harness electricity during the day to illuminate the seating area at night. A built-in system collects and filters water that is used for healthy plant growth. As they grow the plants wind around the bench’s circular structure, creating a jungle-like canopy dangling above the user.
The ec-O bench design is intended to be constructed of Bio-Luminum and Bio-Glass. The Bio-Luminum tiles are made from salvaged parts from retired airplanes and are an excellent long-lasting and high-strength material. Bio-Glass is engineered from recycled glass with no additives or colorants. Both materials will contribute towards LEED certification.