Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 40

LANDSCAPE SEATING

...bringing new expressive modes
of seating to the public.

gained widespread popularity once introduced as a garden seat.
Since then, reclining with legs extended has been synonymous
with North American backyard leisure, and with owning one's
own landscape in which to lounge.
At CityDeck, the chaise longues are made of wood, not
aluminium, yet they recall the dimensions and posture of
the modernist chaise longue. Like many new landscape
projects, CityDeck aims to transform a formerly industrial site
into a habitable, comfortable public realm. Chaise longues
are a powerful agent in this aim; they encourage people to
appropriate and occupy a landscape that they might not have
had access to before. In a sense, they domesticate it.
Two notable Canadian installations also explored the
contemplative role of the chaise longue. In PLANT Architect
Inc.'s 2000 installation for the Jardins de Métis International
Garden Festival, Le Jardin du repos, an elongated chaise
longue crafted from regional materials allowed visitors to
simultaneously view and be in contact with materials gathered
from the landscape. Plage, SPMB's 2008 installation for Jardins
éphémères in Quebec City, approximated the interaction of
a public beach. The surface was edged by a massive wooden
chaise longue that took the profile of LC4, the iconic, tubular
steel chaise longue designed by Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret
and Charlotte Perriand in 1928.
2. THE MEDICAL TYPOLOGY
The sprawl of the chaise lounge is a more active stretch, bend and
extend in urban Movement Design's 2012 installation, Unire/Unite
in Rome. Visitors splay, stretch and balance upside down along
the contours of a morphing wooden structure, which is a sequence
of curvilinear wooden sections covered intermittently with
concrete canvas. Unire/Unite is perhaps a massive bench, perhaps
a small park. The structure is informed by specific modalities
such as pilates and yoga; certain segments are configured to
activate particular systems of the body. The project, and urban
Movement Design's practice in general, addresses the problems of
contemporary sedentary lifestyles.
40 LANDSCAPES PAYSAGES

While typologically quite different, Unire/Unite resonates with
the 19th century development of medically-oriented seating.
Postural health had become a prominent medical topic as factory
work introduced repeated tasks and associated stresses. As
anatomical knowledge grew, innovative patents for mechanical,
repositionable recliners were developed to serve specific medical
needs, such as the dentist's chair and hospital bed. The invalid
chair, a cushioned, spring-loaded recliner, allowed users to
control the angles of their seat back and leg support, and could
transform from a flat bed to an upright chair. While it was
embraced by medical institutions, this repositionable seating
wasn't immediately appropriated for popular use. Victorian ethos
dictated that unless ill, one's posture should be upheld by the body
itself, not by furniture.
By the mid-twentieth century, ergonomic seating designs were
merging new forms with new materials. Swiss designers Willy and
Emil Guhl examined the relationship between human anatomy
and the structural potentials of newly available materials, creating
the Loop Chair, a fibrated concrete seat. The lightweight chair
took advantage of the thin profile of the material to contour to
the profile of a relaxed body. The design was cheap to fabricate,
waterproof and comfortable, and can be seen in the residential
landscapes of Ernst Cramer and other European landscape
architects. By the 1970s, health concerns over the use of asbestos
stopped its production.
Unire/Unite, like all the work of urban Movement Design,
argues for a more holistic understanding of public health, one
that includes the freedom to move one's body in different
ways, and to do so with others. Rather than relegating exercise
to Pilates classes, they locate it in the public realm, making it
visible, social and playful. Unire/Unite takes a position against
a static understanding of the body in public and expands the
notion of accessibility. All of Unire/Unite is accessible, yet none
of it complies with conventional bench standards. The project
demonstrates how design might accommodate bodies of different
dimensions and abilities in ways that are far more generous and
imaginative than simply retrofitting standard benches.



Landscapes - Spring 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Landscapes - Spring 2015

To Being With | Pour Commencer
The New Small | Le Microcosme Réinventé
Paula Meijerink, Guest Editor | Rédactrice invitée
EN_LP+ | Small Matters: Backgrounder
FR_LP+ | Prodigieuse Petitesse
Writers | Collaboratuers
Je Vois Montreal
Upfront | Prologue
Forêt urbaine
Urban Braille
Find Your Pebble
Folly Forest
Parklet Experiment
Klynstra Scholarship
Prix 2014 Schwabenbauer
The Common Sense Curb Cut
Essay | Essai
Doggy Style
Projects in Place: The LA Flash Mob
Tiny Taxonomy
Lying Down in Public
Kelowna asks, "What if,,"
A Non-Urban Approach X3
New Directions | Nouvelles Avenues
Opinion
Critique
The Last Word | Le Mot de la Fin
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - cover1
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - cover2
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 3
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 4
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 5
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 6
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 7
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - FR_LP+ | Prodigieuse Petitesse
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 9
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Writers | Collaboratuers
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Je Vois Montreal
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - The Common Sense Curb Cut
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 13
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 14
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 15
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 16
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 17
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 18
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 19
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Essay | Essai
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 21
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 22
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 23
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Doggy Style
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 25
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 26
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 27
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 28
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 29
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Projects in Place: The LA Flash Mob
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 31
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Tiny Taxonomy
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 33
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 34
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 35
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 36
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 37
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 38
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Lying Down in Public
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 40
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 41
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Kelowna asks, "What if,,"
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 43
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 44
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 45
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - A Non-Urban Approach X3
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 47
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 48
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 49
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - New Directions | Nouvelles Avenues
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 51
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 52
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 53
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Opinion
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 55
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 56
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 57
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Critique
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 59
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 60
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 61
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 62
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 63
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 64
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 65
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - The Last Word | Le Mot de la Fin
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - cover3
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - cover4
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