During the Absolut residency, the six artists shared an apartment in Jeppestown, Johannesburg where they exchanged ideas on how to design creative solutions to the city’s issues. “The theme of the project was for us to transform the immediate surroundings and engage with them in a creative way,” says r1. The street artist also teamed up with Sam, a local resident who makes upholstery couches, to create the upcycled folding benches.
Related: San Francisco’s Parklets Transform Parking Spaces Into Urban Oases
Each wooden unit comprises three interlocking components: a central planter flanked by two benches with retractable seats; the three components can be fully collapsed to make a compact shape or expanded like an accordion to create a variety of configurations. Sam and r1 also added three sets of wheels to the bottom of each structure to make the benches easily moveable. The artist placed the completed benches around the city, from street corners to alleyways, to see how residents would react to the new site furniture.