Screen Shot 2013-08-14 at 7.40.25 AMHave you been to public places that discourages a good conversation, has uncomfortable seating or is just not inviting? Copenhagen thinks about public spaces in a dramatically opposite way.

Imagine a space that allows to swing and relax, admire the clouds and even talk to fellow citizens doing the same. This city has  created public spaces with hammocks that invite you to use them creatively and play!

These unconventional fixtures in Copenhagen are called “off ground” are a series of hammocks and slings made of recycled red fire hose, mounted on  bright blue steel rods. It is hard to miss them and the folks who enjoy them. The design is so versatile and innovative that it allows the user to transform them into either a swing, hammock or low-seating, depending on what they are in the mood for.

off-ground, alternative seating/playing elements for public space, is the brainchild of designers Jair Straschnow and Gitte Nygaard.

“..looking further into public areas, the (adult) facilities on offer sum up to seating, normally benches, where comfort is definitely not a priority.
considering how essential play is to our well being, and how predictable our public space is, off-ground is about up-scaling playing elements combined with seating alternatives – hanging, floating, swinging, laying – one size fits all.”

The way Copenhagen is breaking the norm on park benches tells me a little more about the city. The urban planners there want to offer citizens a thriving and live infrastructure that can innovate with them. Know the saying, “show me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are”, I think I can extend that to cities with, “show me your parks and I can tell you how much your city cares about innovation.”