At seven feet tall, Dutch designer Wouter Corvers doesn't fit into a lot of the average-sized spaces we build in our cities. "He hits his head on the tops of bus stops and street signs, must bend down to access ATMs, and has a hard time comfortably resting his legs while sitting on a public bench," writes Fast Company contributor Katharine Schwab. Now, Corvers wants to re-imagine public spaces that are designed for everyone of all shapes and sizes.
Corvers explored a solution to this problem in his Design Academy of Eindhoven project Scale 1 : 1.16. The project—which is on display at Dutch Design Week this week—is named after a ratio representing the change in public space design standards that would have to occur for Corvers to be completely comfortable.
Instead, Corvers set out to develop a methodology for more inclusively designed elements of public space, starting with the good old-fashioned bench. He realized that by simply installing benches in locations where the landscape was sloped, he could provide a more comfortable bench that would suit people of many different heights. In order to do this, he developed a tool kit that he could take to any location to outfit one of its slopes with a bench. The kit includes four lengths of benches with built-in levels, bench legs of various heights, and various grips to support the legs on different surfaces.