It was a year of collaborative projects, smart technology, smart furniture and smart cities – but first and foremost great public spaces that answered their community’s needs. Count down our top six StreetChat stories of 2018, that were most popular with subscribers. 6. Competitions: Win a Drone and Smart Watch StreetChat subscribers contributed some creative entries in both competitions, but there could only be one winner for each. Luke Cox from Phillips Smith Conwell Architects in Brisbane was named the winner of the android smart watch for his acrostic poem entry. Matthew Moore, also from Brisbane but with HASSELL, took home the DJI Spark Mini Drone for his beachside augmented reality Aria. See the gallery of entries. Matthew Moore’s augmented reality Aria, by the sea. 5. Smart Social Spaces Georges River Council and the …
Australia’s First Smart Bench
PowerMe™ is Australia’s first smart bench.
It is a table that integrates with a wide range of seats to enable people to sit back, connect and power up their phones.
As we now rely on our phones to manage our schedules, catch up on news and for loved ones to contact us, especially in emergencies, running out of battery when out and about is not an option.
Charging points in public spaces will provide peace of mind.
The smart system is the first of its kind to be designed and made in Australia.
It is compatible with Street Furniture Australia seats in different environments, including:
The new Aria seating system, for modern, urban locations.
The Classic Galleria range, for more traditional and heritage environments.
The Mall range, classic and versatile to suit a wide range of spaces.
Termini for airports and interior waiting lounges.
Concourse for stations, stops and transport interchanges.
The table provides wireless induction charging, USB ports and power points, and space for optional WiFi and sensors.
It is also a convenient platform for your coffee and sandwich, with ambient blue LED lighting to guide users at night.
Maintenance managers will love the clamshell opening, where you can see and access all components at once, with a security key.
Power outages are signalled when the blue LED light turns off, allowing managers to easily detect and address issues.
Easy security access for the maintenance team
Power outages are signalled by the blue LED light turning off.
Optional sensors can also let asset managers know exactly where the benches are, how often they are used and when they were last maintained.
The modular design is future-proof, as it allows easy technology upgrades. Switch out any of the four charging modules, or add more hardware inside.
“PowerMe is an enduring asset for universities, shopping centres, parks, streets, airports, stations – wherever people might sit to charge their phone or use WiFi – so we’ve kept the electronics modular and easy to upgrade,” says Danny Cheung, Principal Industrial Designer with Street Furniture Australia.
“The rate of technology change is faster than you’re going to want to replace your furniture assets, so this system avoids committing to one generation of tech – there’s no risk of getting stuck in the past.”
PowerMe addresses two aspects of smart city design: the public space experience for users, and smart asset management for custodians.
Just as carefully placing seats in public places encourages people to visit and spend time (see our Jan Gehl summary, ‘How to Place Seats in the City‘), providing the option to charge a device and connect to WiFi adds further incentive to stay.
“Delving into what people really want and need from public places in our user-centred design research, we found most users are looking to work, socialise, play and stay connected on the go,” says Street Furniture Australia Design Director Mark Armstrong.
“For custodians, PowerMe can provide data on how many people are visiting the space, and when, through WiFi and sensors. This is exciting for asset owners and managers, as you will be able to measure the performance of a place, and use hard data for future planning and maintenance.”
Future-proof PowerMe is a table first, which houses any technology you need.
PowerMe enables people to work, socialise, dine, play and connect on the go.
The PowerMe prototype debuted at Future Street, a demonstration of technologies tipped to enhance city life officially opened by the Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation, Angus Taylor, in front of Customs House in Sydney.
The Street Furniture Australia R&D team collected feedback from visiting public realm professionals from the 2017 International Festival of Landscape Architecture, including landscape architects and Council delegations, and the public.
With wireless charging high on the wishlist for responders, the team began work on integrating this technology for the release.
“We made the table bigger to include more space inside for electronics, slightly changed the angle, added more LED lighting and of course, the wireless charging surface. You’ll be able to put your phone or smart watch, if they are compatible, straight onto the tabletop in the charging zone, no cables required,” says Cheung.
“We gave our inhouse 3D printer a workout building new prototypes. One of our design challenges has been making PowerMe not only strong, weatherproof and durable, but aesthetically pleasing as well. Printing is important to gauge the effect of changes, being able to see and touch the design in the real world.”
All-weather wireless charging.
Premium matte finish.
PowerMe was a response to a design-thinking project looking at how people currently use public space, and how their experience could be improved. It involved many hours of interviews and observing parks at different times of the day and week.
“The ability to connect to wifi, and keep devices charged, is an overlapping priority for many of these users of public places, whether it’s for work and personal admin, entertainment or getting around the city. So a smart bench is an easy way to facilitate all of these needs for the community.” says Armstrong.
Enquire now for further information about PowerMe.
A 1-min summary of the PowerMe and the new Aria seating system:
See PowerMe at the 2018 International Festival of Landscape Architecture in October, one of our 7 must-see festivities.
Seven special-edition rainbow Pride Seats, donated by Street Furniture Australia to the Inner West Council to celebrate marriage equality, have now been installed. Each seat recognises a local activist who has advanced LGBTIQ human rights, equity and inclusion. They are found in the suburbs of Newtown, Rozelle, Marrickville, Leichhardt, Summer Hill and Lilyfield. The unveiling … The first rainbow seat, installed in Newtown, was unveiled in an emotional ceremony attended by many of the dedication nominees, their families, friends and the community. Particularly moving speeches were given by the loved ones of those recognised posthumously. Elder Aunty Jenny Thomsen opened the event with thoughts on rainbows as symbols of healing and love, saying the seats will “reflect light out” into the community. “Public art is very important because it expresses who were are as a community …
If you are interested in smart furniture, this handbook is for you. PowerMe™, Australia’s first smart bench, the Aria seating system and eBin are all featured in this compact all-in-one publication. The handbook includes step-by-step guides to specify your range. Use Augmented Reality to visualise your furniture in the park. Select from a wide range of hi-tech finishes, including Woodgrain and Textura, for premium low-maintenance options. Download the Smart Suite Handbook (40 pages, 8.8MB) or order your own copy today
See a pdf of the Wall Street Journal article, ‘There Are Park Benches. And Then There Are Smart Park Benches.’ Street Furniture Australia’s new Aria Smart Bench with PowerMe™ Table is featured in The Wall Street Journal as part of an article on the Smart Social Spaces project. Georges River Council with the University of New South Wales (UNSW) will investigate how data collected by smart furniture and sensors can be used for urban management and the local community. New furniture including Aria and PowerMe has been installed at two locations in Georges River: a plaza, Memorial Square in Hurstville, and two sites in a suburban green space, Olds Park in Penshurst. UNSW will collect the data and work with Georges River Council on responsive asset management. Street Furniture Australia is the industry partner for …
Street Furniture Australia is proud to be sponsoring the 2018 International Festival of Landscape Architecture: The Expanding Field held 11-14 October at the Gold Coast this year. We summarise our top 7 must-see street furniture events and experiences. Book your festival tickets at the AILA website. 1. The Expanding Field Conference, at HOTA Home of the Arts. Friday October 12 to Saturday October 13. Curated by creative directors TCL, the Expanding Field Conference aims to promote the diversity within landscape architecture practice and its critical role in tackling contemporary challenges. The notion of expansion will be examined through six sessions: Pushing Boundaries; Reimagining Practice; Synergising Technologies; Expanding Territories; Cultivating Cultural Intersections; and Navigating Political Terrain. These topics provide the field of enquiry and will spark discussions on regenerative agriculture, post-colonial design, socio-political advocacy, cultural ecology, economics …
Georges River Council with University of New South Wales (UNSW) has launched the Smart Social Spaces Project, an investigation into smart furniture, communities and urban management. Street Furniture Australia is the industry partner for this project. The $658,000 project will see smart furniture installed in a busy plaza, Memorial Square in Hurstville, and a green community space, Olds Park in Penhurst. Sensors on the furniture will monitor how the space is used, providing data on how it may better serve the community. The project is an opportunity, says Georges River Council Mayor Kevin Greene, to lead the exploration of smart public spaces that directly benefit the community. “Council is keen to explore the role technology can play in connecting the community to public spaces, how it can help us to …