Italian architect Stefano Boeri designs a park bench for the homeless

Boeri sparks a debate on the role of design in addressing homelessness in public places.

Stefano Boeri, the prominent Italian architect known internationally for the Vertical Forest building in Milan, designed a park bench to provide shelter for the homeless.

The Milanese architect presented his innovative design at FuoriSalone 2022 during the Milan Design Week which ended in recent days.

In addition to its usual function as a place for passers-by to sit, Boeri’s bench has armrests that convert into headrests and a movable panel that can become a roof.

“During these years, in many cities, also in Italy, we have seen benches designed to prevent people from relaxing, lying down, sleeping” – said Boeri – “This bench is exactly the opposite .”

Noting that the design isn’t separated by any barriers, Boeri said the bench can be “suited to a variety of uses,” including sleeping at night or sheltering from the rain.

“This project will never solve the problems of extreme poverty or homelessness”, stressed the architect, pointing out that the bench was designed to “trigger a discussion” in the world of architecture and design on “the ‘inclusion and accessibility’ for all citizens.

Photo ANSA

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