Images via evolo
We've seen some fairly terrible ideas for "eco benches" in the past, but this one is intriguing. The bench, a design by Steven Ma, is not only a bench, but also a planter, a street light, and a power generator. That's a lot to incorporate into one small circular spot to sit! Add to that the fact that it is made entirely from recycled materials and this concept has our attention. Greenpacks writes, "This design somehow conjures the image of a semi circular moon shaped prop popularly used by stars to touch down on the stage in theatrical world." Indeed there's a lot of things this modern design could look like - including a spikier version of one of those single-wheel cycles.
The ec-O bench by Ma is framed from recycled materials, including bio-aluminum - a material recycled from redundant aircrafts - and glass, two highly durable materials that can be recycled yet again at the end of the bench's life.
The ec-O acts as a planter, and is formed in such a way as to capture its own water to sustain the plants growing on it. The surface area on the top of the bench has solar cells to collect energy during the day, and that is used to power the four lighting channels that turn it into a street or path light when the sun goes down.
Evolo also points out that the bench could contribute to LEED credits and USGBC project certification.
This is a far better design than some other benches we've seen that are full of flaws, such as the solar powered Petal Bench which doesn't take into account even the most basic issues like...why do we want a bench that opens and closes in the first place? But the ec-O is definitely not as simple as the solar powered bench that merely provides a spot to sit and access wifi. We love the fact that it's a self-sustaining planter and a light as well as a place to rest your weary self.
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