Yes, you read that correctly. A design for a rideable bench has won Ford’s design competition.
Ford is saying that the way that we navigate our cities is changing, so there is a growing need for street furniture where residents and visitors can relax and rest. Apparently.
Students Corentin Janel and Guillaume Innocenti have designed a rideable bench called “TOD”, short for “talk or drive” which has won the Ford Fund Smart Mobility Challenge’s £12,500 top prize, as well as being able to turn the project into reality.
“A rideable bench is a great example of how design can help form the fabric of cities, as it’s something that’s fun, practical and multi-functional,” said Amko Leenarts, director of design, Ford of Europe. “It’s a clever way to make mobility part of the city, encourage people to interact and enable people to experience cities in a totally new way.”
“TOD” is designed as an adaptable system with a static mode and mobile mode. In static mode, it is a bench that can be extended to accommodate three people. Accessories such as chairs and corners can easily by added using a plug-in style kit system, while a flat square can be connected to two benches to form a picnic table.
In mobile mode, the sit-on scooter is for up to two people, with a maximum speed of 20 km/h. A hatch in the middle provides space for luggage, while stretching bands on the back and sides enable users to transport small and long items. Users can locate and book a bench or sit-on scooter using the dedicated app.