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Aria Smart Bench Wins Coveted Good Design Award
Australia’s first locally designed and made smart bench, with outdoor device charging and provision for WiFi and sensors, has received a prestigious Good Design Award Winner Accolade for outstanding design and innovation.
The Aria Smart Bench is Street Furniture Australia’s first foray into the smart cities movement, says Head of Innovation June Lee Boxsell.
“For us, smart cities has two aspects. First, human-centred: we aim to bring enjoyment to public spaces and create meaningful experiences for the community. One way Aria Smart Bench answers this need is through modularity,” says Boxsell.
“Site specific solutions are important for activating public spaces. Each place has its own identity, community, history. Just as at Nike you can design your own shoe, with Aria you can design your own bench without having to build from scratch. Aria lets you mix and match different components, materials and colours to provide a unique result that is durable, tried and tested.
“Second is technology. Internationally, we are on the verge of exponential technological growth – AI, sensors, networks, autonomous vehicles and big data are all set to change our public space experience forever, so technology is now a vital part of Street Furniture Australia’s design process.
“The smart bench integrates with a table to provide outdoor device charging, with optional public WiFi and space for sensors.
“The phone is no longer just a phone: it’s how our loved ones contact us in cases of emergency, we manage our calendars, store our plane tickets – so to be out of battery can be a big problem. Some even see it as a safety issue. We thought a public space bench that enables charging at any time would be of great benefit to the community.”
The design of the Aria Smart Bench is underpinned with deep research into the needs of park users, architects and landscape architects and place custodians, says Design Advisor Mark Armstrong.
“The Aria Smart Bench represents the next generation of products for Street Furniture Australia, as it’s the result of a deep design dive using Design Thinking methods. Architects, place owners and managers, and users in parks were interviewed to understand their needs and aspirations. These research findings were distilled into a series of attributes for the seating system,” says Armstrong.
Principal Industrial Designer Danny Cheung says the design form for the Aria is contemporary yet timeless, to fit with diverse urban environments.
“Aria features a form language that we can take into the future. I wanted to achieve a distinctive aesthetic, that will not age over decades, with the flexibility of a modular system. The angular geometry allows light to create shadows and highlights for visual effect,” says Cheung.
“It is a joy and a great honour to receive recognition from your peers, particularly with such a strong field of quality designs. We thank the Good Design Awards jury and organisers for their humbling support.”
The Aria Smart Bench is described as “very well resolved” by the Good Design jury. “Aesthetically beautiful in appearance. The durability is apparent and the round edges soften the design appropriately,” they commented.
The winners of Australia’s peak industry design awards – the highest honour for design and innovation in the country – must demonstrate excellence in all areas and convince the jury they are worthy of recognition.
The panel spent several days evaluating entries according to a strict set of design criteria which covers good design, innovation and impact.
This year’s awards attracted a record number of submissions, with close to 700 design projects evaluated.
Dr. Brandon Gien, CEO of Good Design Australia, said: “Receiving a Good Design Award at this level is a significant achievement given the very high calibre of entries received this year.
“Australia’s Good Design Award is more than a symbol of design excellence, it represents the hard work and dedication towards an innovative outcome that will ultimately improve our quality of life. These projects showcase the brilliance of design and the potential it has to improve our world.”
Street Furniture Australia products will be on show at the ASLA 2022 EXPO in San Francisco, from November 12 to 13, 2022. Visit Booth 251 to see the sleek and minimalist Linea range, including Cubes, Platform, Sun Lounge, Seats, Curved Bench and Picnic Settings, and complementary Monsoon Litter Bins and Cafe Stools. Check out a variety of durable and low-maintenance materials and colours including five Wood Without Worry aluminium woodgrain batten shades, the new Earthy Pastel powdercoat range, and DuraBright fade-resistant colours. Street Furniture Australia will co-present the stand with California-based partner Spruce & Gander, who represent our products as an exclusive distributor in California, Ohio, Texas, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana and Kentucky. Dates and times:Saturday, November 12, 2022. 9:30am – 6:00pm.Sunday, November 13, 2022. 10:00am – …
Street Furniture Australia is donating $40,000 worth of furniture from breakout spaces from the 2022 Festival of Landscape Architecture: COUNTRY to The Murri School, an Aboriginal and Islander Independent Community School in Brisbane. The collection of Linea Seats, Cubes, Curved Benches, Sun Lounges and Picnic Settings includes a pair painted by artist Casey Coolwell-Fisher, a Quandamooka, Nunukul woman of Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island, Queensland) – commissioned by Street Furniture Australia and Blaklash Creative. Director of Blaklash Creative and member of the Festival Creative Directorate Troy Casey says, “A huge part of the festival was about how we can ensure that community gets something from it. We spent two days sharing our culture, our experiences, and the responsibility to positive impact. We can’t really do that without giving back to mob, …
Street Furniture Australia has confirmed its ongoing six year partnership with the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA), signing on for a further two years. The company has been a national sponsor and supporting corporate partner since 2014. “AILA is proud to continue this relationship with our longer-term partner, Street Furniture Australia,” says Tim Arnold, AILA CEO. “Street Furniture Australia has been committed to research, innovation and supporting the landscape architecture profession. “We’ve previously joined forces on things like #BackyardExperiment and Future Street; more recently they lead a research project, Woden Experiment at the Woden Town Square in Canberra. I’m excited to see what the partnership will bring into the future.” Street Furniture Australia will be a sponsor of the 2019 International Festival of Landscape Architecture: The Square and the …
Street Furniture Australia is honoured to be named winner of the Built Environment category at the inaugural Australian Smart Cities Awards in October 2018. These are the country’s first awards recognising leadership, best practice and action to advance the smart cities movement, evaluated by a seven-person jury chaired by David Singleton AM. The winners were announced at Smart Cities Week in Sydney, organised by the Smart Cities Council Australia New Zealand. Street Furniture Australia received the Built Environment award for #BackyardExperiment, an eight-day activation of Garema Place, Canberra, which took place in October 2016. It was a small project that made a big impact. By adopting a people-first approach and quantifying the impact of design, the method of activation became an international case study. #BackyardExperiment was one of Australia’s first …
Street Furniture Australia has won the Research Project Award for #BackyardExperiment at Parks and Leisure Australia’s 2017 NSW and ACT Regional Awards of Excellence. NSW Business Development Manager Josine Denning was at the ceremony in Kiama to celebrate the fantastic work of local placemakers with awards for planning, events, parks, play and recreation spaces, technology, leadership and community programs. “This is my first time attending the Parks and Leisure Regional Awards. We received a wonderful warm welcome from Councils, who said they were pleased to see the wider industry participating. I found it so inspiring to see the passion and the energy in the room on this big night,” she tells StreetChat. “Our project received a lively and enthusiastic reception. It was moving to realise most present must have seen the …