5 Most-Read StreetChats of 2017

5 top stories of 2017

StreetChat in 2017 saw smart technology and smart cities come to the fore, with Streets 2.0 and Future Street engaging the attention of public realm professionals and the public alike.

However, this list of the five most-read stories throughout the year also features projects that encourage communities to spend time together in public space. It has technical feats on a large scale, the wisdom of Jan Gehl, and our top story reflects a mainstream discussion still buzzing today.

Any guesses? Count down our top five:

A custom 5.7 metre Arc Seat is a place for neighbours to meet in Harold Park.

A custom 5.7 metre Arc Seat is a place for neighbours to meet in Harold Park.

5: Harold Park by Mirvac

This giant Arc Seat collaboration between Aspect Studios, Mirvac, Co-Ordinated Landscapes and Street Furniture Australia grabbed attention in the January issue.

With space for up to 15 neighbours from the $1.1 bn Sydney urban renewal development, the seat rests on a 200mm wide concrete plinth wall and features a 5.7m internal diameter.

“The seat was made up of seven individual radius sections with seat panels to cover the wall ends. The segments all went together seamlessly, which speaks volumes for the build and quality management process,” Glen Smith, Project Manager with Co-Ordinated Landscapes, told StreetChat.

“Throughout construction the landscape appeared to morph from a small, busy, cluttered storage area used by the surrounding trades, into a spacious practical green retreat.”

City Walk, Canberra, experimenting with social seating.

City Walk, Canberra, experimenting with social seating.

4: How to Place Seats in the City

Your cheat sheet of Jan Gehl’s top tips for sittable parks and streets from his iconic book, Life Between Buildings, was popular in August.

Well-positioned seats are crucial to the success of public spaces, says Gehl. The onus is on the designer to consider how multiple factors will work together to create comfort (or discomfort), off the page and in the real world.

StreetChat lays out Gehl’s golden rules, among them: consider the microclimate, keep to the edges, make it inclusive, frame the view, and combine primary and secondary seating in a landscape.

“A well-equipped space should offer many different opportunities for sitting in order to give all user groups inspiration and opportunity to stay,” he says.

PowerMe prototypes debuted at Future Street.

PowerMe prototypes debuted at Future Street.

3: Future Street is Coming

Smart city thinkers were getting excited in September with the announcement of Future Street, a four-day demonstration of technologies and ideas tipped to enhance our cities, sponsored by the Australian government.

The Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA), Internet of Things Alliance Australia (IOTAA) and Smart Cities Council Australia New Zealand (SCCANZ) built the street of the future at Circular Quay on Alfred Street, in front of Customs House, from October 12 to 15.

Place Design Group lead the design and build of the project as part of the 2017 International Festival of Landscape Architecture: The 3rd City.

In this StreetChat, Street Furniture Australia announced the Aria Smart Bench with PowerMe and Escola Smart Bin prototypes.

The Mondo's new modular seating is built to welcome families to the space.

The Mondo’s new modular seating is built to welcome families to the space.

2: The Mondo: Custom Seats Have Enticed People to Linger in Community Space

A custom furniture suite brings life to a renewed outdoor space at the Penrith Civic Arts Precinct, also known as the Mondo, a small urban space where the popular Westfield Penrith, the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre and Penrith City Council’s Civic Centre meet.

Landscape Architect OCULUS, responding to a brief from Penrith City Council, collaborated with Street Furniture Australia on a site-specific furniture range featuring a modular design, artwork and lighting.

Seeing the different ways the public is interacting with the new space “has been a pleasure,” Karin Schicht, Landscape Architecture Supervisor with Penrith City Council, told StreetChat for the April issue.

“Whether a solo lunch-goer, weary parents with curious toddlers taking time out from shopping, or small groups meeting and socialising, the seating delivers choice, flexibility and is inherently Penrith,” she says.

“It is a constant delight to witness the many ways the community has adapted to and embraced this place. They have made it their own.”

Six women passionate about landscape joined us for an International Womens Day breakfast and round table.

Six women passionate about landscape joined us for an International Womens Day breakfast and round table.

1: Six Women in Landscape

In this year of Weinstein revelations and Pantone Ultra Violet, of pink hats and protest rallies, is it surprising that our most-read story of the past 12 months should be a celebration of women who work in the public realm?

Six women passionate about landscape joined our International Women’s Day breakfast table in March to discuss equality and the year’s theme, #BeBoldForChange.

Oi Choong, Georgia Jezeph, Brinlee Pickering, Clare O’Brien, Katy Svalbe and Shahana McKenzie spoke about bold communication and speaking up, pioneering the landscape architecture profession in Australia, equal representation and leadership.

“In Australia, working in the public domain meant you had to be strong in putting your thoughts forward,” said Oi Choong.

“In relocating major roads, for instance, you had to stand behind your convictions about whether it was the right position, or not. In dealing with people you have to be bold when trying to get a point across. That’s par for the course.”

Not yet subscribed to StreetChat? One lucky subscriber will receive their choice of Smart Watch – Apple or Android. Enter here.


make an enquiry

Opening hours are from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

enquire now

recent news

Making Art: Inside the Vivid Build

Street Furniture Australia has helped two young architects from CM+ with the design and build of colourful, immersive artworks for Sydney’s annual festival of light, music and ideas. The 23-day festival attracted 2.25 million visitors in 2018, with similar numbers expected for 2019. Vivid Light, a series of sound and light installations, comes to life after dark throughout the city. An enveloping snowflake storm, Let It Snow by Jing Li, and an interactive musical tree, Harmony by Rod Tan, opened to acclaim on Friday May 24 and are set to delight audiences till June 15, 2019. Angus Easthope, industrial designer with Street Furniture Australia and project lead for the Vivid build, shares insights into the design and installation of more than 1.5 tonnes of aluminium and steel for the two …

  • 27 may 2019
read more

SFA Achieves Four ISO Certifications

Street Furniture Australia is launching a new Integrated Management System to include ISO certifications in quality, OH&S, sustainability and the environment. The system certified by QAS International is designed to meet the requirements of PAS99:2012 including Quality Management ISO 9001:2015, Environmental Management ISO 14001:2015, and OH&S Management ISO 45001:2018 and AS/NZS 4801:2001. The certification will further strengthen our program of continuous improvement, says Christopher Morgan, Street Furniture Australia Operations Manager, with 24 small audits leading up to the annual audit in 12 months’ time. “It’s not a rubber stamp that’s awarded once, it’s a system you need to continuously upgrade and improve,” he says. The three months of work leading up to the certification has brought the entire team closer, he tells StreetChat. “ISO is a great process as it …

  • 27 may 2019
read more

Trend Watch May 2019

A guide to surveillance in the city: Google sister company Sidewalk Labs has created a system of urban signage that reveals the technologies it is using to track people in public spaces. The signs are intended to be a visual representation of the privacy policies the company is developing to go along with its data collection technology. While the project goes some way to address privacy concerns around data collection, there’s still no way for people to opt out of being tracked in public. The signage is being trialled in Toronto, Canada, but could be taken up in other cities. To find out more about the signage design, purpose and placement, see the article by Fast Company. Controversial designs for new Notre-Dame spire: The redesign of the upper levels of …

  • 27 may 2019
read more

related news

Customers Who Won PLA Awards

Congratulations to Tweed Shire Council and the City of Greater Bendigo, both celebrating wins in their state 2019 Parks and Leisure Australia Awards. Street Furniture Australia is proud to be part of these award-winning projects. Rowan Robinson Park – Park of the Year Tweed Shire Council’s $22-million Kingscliff Foreshore revitalisation links the beach with the new central Rowan Robinson Park, and the CBD. “After years of storms and fears about the economic viability of Kingscliff with the retreating foreshore, confidence is now restored with the completion of the central park,” say the PLA Judges. The park was named in honour of Rowan Robinson, a popular Kingscliff High School student and local Surf Life Saver who lost his life serving in Afghanistan in June 2011. Since opening, the park has become …

  • 3 jun 2019
read more

Trend Watch May 2019

A guide to surveillance in the city: Google sister company Sidewalk Labs has created a system of urban signage that reveals the technologies it is using to track people in public spaces. The signs are intended to be a visual representation of the privacy policies the company is developing to go along with its data collection technology. While the project goes some way to address privacy concerns around data collection, there’s still no way for people to opt out of being tracked in public. The signage is being trialled in Toronto, Canada, but could be taken up in other cities. To find out more about the signage design, purpose and placement, see the article by Fast Company. Controversial designs for new Notre-Dame spire: The redesign of the upper levels of …

  • 27 may 2019
read more

Luminary Oi Choong: “Be Brave. Be Amazing. Be Worthy.”

Oi Choong, winner of the 2018 Marion Mahony Griffin Prize for a distinctive body of work by a female architect, looks back on a career that spans the rise of landscape architecture as a profession, and women in the workplace.

  • 16 apr 2019
read more