Civitas: Portable Bench

Sophomore project from Industrial Design Lab II at Virginia Tech. This was the students’ first experience with a buildup project.

Student’s statement:

How can a mobile seat give an office worker the freedom to take their lunch break outside and be stored under their desk when not in use?

Cities reserve between 10 to 15 percent of land for parks on average, with larger cities dedicating more funding for green spaces. 98% of San Fransisco residents live within a ten-minute walk of a public park. Sixty-five percent of urban residents rated their park and recreation access as either “excellent” or “good.” This means that people have the space, but just not the supplies to take their lunch outdoors. People also are willing to eat outside, as already studies show 54.6% of Americans over the age of 16 picnics at least once annually. This number could be increased if its easier for people to access picnicking areas from work. For an area to be considered a picnic area, it must contain at least one picnic table. This is not sufficient for the populations of people using the park, and bringing your own bench is one way to promote this.

If people have the security of knowing there will be a place to sit, they are more likely to want to eat outside. The best way to accomplish this is with a mobile seat that they can keep under their desk during work hours, and just take it with them during their lunch break.

My final product successfully solves my problem statement by being able to fold up and fit under a desk, carried to whichever location the user wishes, and then support them while they enjoy their lunch. The seat top size was determined so that someone would be able to sit comfortably and have space to put food or beverages down next to them.