Softwalks Plans Seats and Planters for City Scaffolding

Posted on: January 2nd, 2013 at 6:18 am by

[Photo: Softwalks]

[Photo: Softwalks]

Scaffolding is a fact of city life. A constant, like feral pigeons or the subway breakdancer. For the common pleb, though, the only real utility of such construction sheds is shelter during a downpour. Otherwise, an eyesore of a sidewalk obstruction. But forward thinkers at Softwalks aim to change that with a new public seating concept.

There have been numerous beautification projects through the years to help make scaffolding more bearable. Mostly in the vein of art murals. Softwalks takes a more utilitarian approach with its kit of parts. Inspired by the pedestrian plazas of upper Broadway, co-founders Howard Chambers and Bland Hoke designed mini chairs, counters, planters that are ready-made for installation on the mess of iron bars. The idea being to transform the dark structures into a more social type of space.

[Photo: Softwalks]

[Photo: Softwalks]

Not surprisingly, Softwalks is employing Kickstarter to raise the necessary funds ($13,500) for the following needs:

  • Secure a pilot project site and install the Kit of Parts for a brief period of time.
  • Help pay for shop space and materials to work with.
  • Refine the counter and lighting parts for durability.
  • Invite city officials, Business Improvement District’s, and scaffold companies to the pilot project site.
  • Host a party at the pilot project for one evening for everyone’s support!

Softwalks was spawned two years ago as a project at Parsons. Now the goal is to institute a pilot project on the streets next spring. How do you feel about the plan? Do you think it’ll get enough traction?

Recent Stories

Photo: NYC Municipal Archives
On the Ground 7 Years Before the Essex Street Market Became a Reality [PHOTOS]

In the coming years, each of the Essex Street Market buildings will fall to accommodate the new Essex Crossing mega-project. The facility was built seventy-five years ago to move the plethora of pushcarts indoors. The archival photo is dated sometime in 1933, seven years before the one-story commercial buildings were constructed by order of Mayor LaGuardia. […]

Photo: Lori Greenberg
DayLife Presents ‘Lower EAT Side’ Sunday June 14

DayLife is once again kicking off the summer season with its annual outdoor LES celebration. This year’s event, sponsored by ConEd and G-Shock, is being called “Lower EAT Side.” We see what you did there. It may be a far cry from the Orchard Street pushcarts of yesteryear, but the Lower East Side BID and its semi-regular […]

Photo: Catjia Rehkamp
This Lower East Side Photographer Spent a Year Chronicling Local Can Collectors

Roughly nine years ago, we stumbled upon two elderly Chinese women reduced to fisticuffs while fighting over a can of refuse outside 88 Orchard Street. The two bottle collectors were battling over the rights to the cash-refundable contents within the trash. After the scuffle was broken up, both left the scene as if nothing happened. From that […]

boss-tweeds
The ‘Grilled Cheese Incident’ Debuts Inside Boss Tweed’s on Essex Street

Boss Tweed’s on Essex Street is diversifying. Changing it up to stay relevant, perhaps. Another grilled cheese-specific operation is now underway here at 115 Essex. It’s called the Grilled Cheese Incident, a pop-up that banks heavily on the storied lore of Depression-era gangsters. The Grilled Cheese Incident was founded by fifth-generation NYC native Marc Lande as […]

beckenstein-ghost-signage
Tracing the Lower East Side Roots of Beckenstein’s [HISTORY]

Manhattan’s Lower East Side has been called many things, but never a fashion center. Yet it is fashion in the form of inexpensive fabrics that lures shoppers to this neighborhood better known for blintzes than ball gowns. -New York Times; June 5, 1961. Between the ghost advertising and left-for-dead store signage, its remnants continue to […]