To begin with, I’m not a big fan of billboards. They are huge, often pointless, and serve no other function than being over sized-in-our-faces-24X7-advertisements that are somehow ultimately paid for by the consumer.
Not only do they deface perfectly good urban landscape, they also block the movement of wind and sunlight, and being crafted out of paper or some other fabric derived out of wood, are also super environmentally-unfriendly. But the fact of the matter remains that marketing and billboards have become an important part of the economic process these days and have to be endured by the general public even if they don’t like them. Luckily, a few innovative designers are doing their best to make this form of advertising as functional and un-invasive for the public as possible. The Bendch billboard/public seating concept by designer David Szabo is one such initiative that looks to add another dimension of function to advertisements in public spaces.
The bendch is a piece of public furniture that is a billboard screen and bench at the same time. Its screen can be used to display advertisements, graphics, videos and so on, and can be let by companies and brands just like normal billboards.
The Bendch, however, would differ from your regular kiosk-style billboard in the way the public interacts with it. For example, if one walks or stands before the Bendch, the info on the screen starts to move softly and its electronics spring into action attracting the person’s attention and giving them the information about the product/service that they are advertising.
After the person has stood in front of the screen at a distance of 70 cm to 200 cm for 5-10 minutes, the Bendch then automatically goes into furniture mode and switches off its screen and other electronic displays and bends in front of the person, in either direction, and transforms into a seat. This may seem a little too much hassle than a regular public bench that also doubles up as billboards at times, but it makes a lot more sense for places with less space on the sidewalk since the bendch folds up when not in use allowing the space around it to be used for regular movement of people.
The installation is also very useful for public spaces that are prone to crowding like bus stops, petrol stations, railroad stations, exhibitions, etc., which need seating to be offered as a regular feature but also on occasions need all the available space that is often taken up by fixed seating.
Source: David Szabo