While we were covering Toronto's Ryerson graduates, Harry Wakefield of Mocoloco partied the night away at the University of Quebec Design Student show and sent us some very neat stuff. Shown above is Corinne Farmer and Clara Charbonneau's Béton Armé, a heated outdoor bench.
Evidently in Montreal waste water in the sewers has a natural temperature all year round of 15 degrees C (roughly 60 F). The bench has a network of pipes in it, which are connected to pipes wrapped around the sewer pipe below with water circulated by a pump, making a bench that is toasty to sit on all year round. In Toronto we suspect every single one would be occupied by homeless people; perhaps that is the point. however it is a very clever way to use that free heat. Watch an interview Harry taped with their professor Patrick Evans below the fold.
Julie Dion's Bamboo Transfer Bench is also interesting if you like furniture for small spaces. It acts as a regular chair and a couple is a small space might have two of them, but when guests arrive it can fold out into a bench that seats two. Pictures and tip from ::MocoLoco