Social distancing – a captivating oxymoron coined to reference the space we need to leave between each other – has begun to dominate the way we live and the decisions we make. While incredibly important in the fight against the spread of the virus, it also curbs our freedom of choice and forces us to behave in an unnatural way. People are social by nature and regulations that inhibit normal social behaviour do not come naturally. With this in mind, the idea of creating outdoor benches that satisfy the needs of social interaction, yet maintain current safety protocols came about.
The project draws inspiration from the AHEC's many high-profile and ambitious collaborations to date, in the UAE and also in Europe, Australia and South Africa. These projects have included multiple design teams, imaginative briefs, innovative designs and the very best of wood craftsmanship, to celebrate the beauty, performance and sustainability of American hardwoods.
Photography by Natelee Cocks