• Sep 23, 2009

BMW street furniture – Click above for high-res image gallery

BMW's DesignworksUSA isn't new to the furniture game, but instead of having to take a plane or buy a yacht to sample the creative firm's wares, all you need to do is... take a bus. After two years of consultations with Landscape Forms, a company specializing in outdoor site furniture, Designworks created a 7-piece selection of furniture for public transport spaces called "metro 40."

The seven pieces are broken down into categories: connect, rest, ride, collect, hi glo, lo glo, and show. Together, they cover everything you'd generally need to do at a bus stop: sit down, get under cover, lock up a bike, throw things away, and see things.

The point of the pieces is to enhance "the overall perception of inner cities with high traffic density and to convey a personal atmosphere to these particular areas." Not hard to do when the furniture outside is nicer than the furniture in your own house. But if we can make a suggestion: since it's public transport, where's the bar? You can read about metro 40 in the press release after the jump and check out the goods in the high-res gallery of photos below.



[Source: BMW]


PRESS RELEASE

Let's hope we've missed the bus! DesignworksUSA, a BMW Group subsidiary, designs global furniture collection for public urban transport.

* 16.09.2009
* Press Kit

Munich, 15th September 2009...
People are in motion all around the globe. Managing people in motion and helping cities provide the comfortable, attractive, high-quality facilities and amenities required to build a broader constituency for public streetscapes and public transit was the starting point of an exciting project: The collaboration between BMW Group DesignworksUSA and Landscape Forms. During the course of a two-year collaboration "metro40" was brought into being – a seven-part furniture collection designed for public streetscapes and urban transit, which includes furniture, shelters, lighting and amenities.

"Bringing great design to public, seemingly anonymous spaces such as transit shelters promotes a very positive, personal impact on people's moods and daily quality of life," says Verena Kloos, President, BMW Group DesignworksUSA. "Urban gentrification projects such as the new High Line park in Lower Manhattan or the new Hamburg Harbour City demonstrate the importance and value of making cities more comfortable and aesthetically pleasing for their citizens, and the exploration of this dynamic made the "metro40" project with Landscape Forms particularly compelling for DesignworksUSA," she concludes. With its attractive, high-quality and durable site furniture, the collection is designed to make a contribution towards enhancing the overall perception of inner cities with high traffic density and to convey a personal atmosphere to these particular areas. This way the everyday use of public transport will become a pleasant and relaxing experience.

Interdisciplinary design competence for the mobility of tomorrow.

Tightly integrated into the BMW Group and equipped with over thirty years of experience in consulting and with a comprehensive design expertise, DesignworksUSA is a valuable external think tank and creative catalyst of ideas for its clientele from the most diverse industries. The design studio operates in a multitude of mobility related areas – from car manufacturing, aviation and yacht building to the leisure and sport industry and therefore offers a comprehensive understanding of all aspects and challenges of current and future mobility.

This also convinced Landscape Form, a company known for their prudent choice of external design consultants. Bill Main, President of Landscape Forms, describes the cooperation as follows: "Our depth of experience in streetscapes and our commitment to the urban environment provided a natural connection with

the studio's all-embracing approach towards the issue of mobility, with its international perspective and the design team's enthusiasm in finding aesthetical as well as functional, innovative design solutions. Today we look back on a genuine collaboration and we believe that designers, managers, and users of urban spaces and transit corridors will appreciate the results" he says.

Function and aesthetics for a global product family.

"Metro40" sets new benchmarks in terms of functionality and aesthetics of transit site furniture. A very special challenge for the design team was to give the collection an individual character and to ensure that the products blend in perfectly into the different urban environments while being internationally useable. It was also necessary to consider the cultural differences in usage patterns, different architectural styles or extreme climate conditions, as well as the need for forward-looking design arising from a lifespan of around 15 years. In this respect the designers were able to scoop from their abundant experience in the automotive sector.

Design details.

The design of the collection is universal, timeless and expressive. All seven site elements are related in design, individual in function and international in spirit. The use of the furniture right at the heart of urban mobility inspired the comprehensive design language and links all objects with one another. It tells an exciting story of everyday mobility – a story of departure and arrival, of movement and flow, of continuity and change. Flowing shapes become visible in every single object. Dynamic, organic surfaces and twisting profiles are continuously revolving around themselves, thereby creating visual tension. Accelerating curves suggest positive motion and energy. The design vocabulary is expressed in each element in a fascinating new way, establishing a direct link with the location in which the furniture will be installed. The "metro40" products are manufactured primarily of aluminium, glass and wood, which marry visual lightness with structural strength.

Metro40 Product Overview.

• Connect: Pedestrian scale transit shelter designed for bus or light rail. Includes a range of optional perches. Glass protection panels that are attached invisibly, seemingly float above the ground, giving the shelter a very light look and directing the focus towards its structure.

• Rest: Rest: A series of benches available in several different versions (e.g. with or without back- or armrest) for the most diverse ranges of use. The dynamic design language finds a particularly vivid expression in the benches. The surfaces seamlessly flow into each other; the leg becomes a backrest only to change back into a leg which again rises to become an armrest. As a result of this and due to the alternating wide and narrow surfaces, the eye is invited to wander along the product's lines. Optional dividers create individual sitting space, take into account the varying cultural behaviours in the public environment and prevent vandalism.

• Ride: The bike rack interprets the design language in a more discreet nuance. Its continuous loop design strongly communicates the idea of connectedness.

• Collect: A series of waste containers with a multitude of use options. The container is held by a metal frame in which it appears to be floating therefore – as with the transit shelter – communicating lightness and expressiveness. Different detail solutions such as rotation and various opening directions and mechanisms facilitate convenient access to the container. Collect is available in different sizes, versions and colours.

• Hi Glo: The 12-foot tall pedestrian light is designed as decorative lighting for sidewalks and shelter areas. Unique Landscape Forms solar LED technology works with the double base metal planes that twist and rotate up to create fixtures that provide vital illumination in a sculptural presence.

• Lo Glo: A 3-foot tall decorative lighting along pathways and alleys. Applies the same design features as the Hi Glo at a smaller scale.

• Show: A display structure designed to house advertising, signage and transit info. A metal loop structure with a floating graphic panel echoes the design of the shelter.

• Stop: Bollards in fixed or removable versions designed for traffic control. These stable cylindrical pieces, which are embraced by a metal band, can be arranged in a variety of patterns on site.

About BMW Group DesignworksUSA.

BMW Group DesignworksUSA provides design strategy, research, development, sustainability consulting, brand communications, 3D modeling, and color, materials, and finish to many of the world's great brands. In addition to being the creative partner to BMW Group, which includes BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, additional DesignworksUSA clients include Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, Starbucks, Boeing Business Jets, Embraer, Pilatus, John Deere, Advanced Medical Optics and BAVARIA Yachts. The company was founded in 1972 by Charles W. Pelly in Malibu, California, and acquired by BMW Group in 1995. Since 2004, President Verena C. Kloos has led DesignworksUSA's strategy and operations, which now includes design studios in Los Angeles, Munich, and Singapore. With global resources and clients across a spectrum of forward-thinking industries, DesignworksUSA has an unparalleled understanding of consumers and the world of design that surrounds them, both today and many years into the future. www.designworksusa.com

About Landscape Forms.

Landscape Forms is the industry's leader in design and manufacture of site furniture, outdoor lighting and accessories, and was recently named by the Wall Street Journal as one of the Top 15 Small Workplaces in the United States. Since its founding in 1969 the company has earned a reputation for excellent design, high quality products and exceptional service. Clients include municipalities; transit centers; corporate, college and health care campuses; and familiar brand leaders like Boeing, Cisco Systems, Disney, Sprint, American Airlines, Herman Miller and Nike. The Landscape Forms U.S. headquarters is located in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The company has sales offices throughout North America, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Japan and Southern Europe. www.landscapeforms.com

Design Studio: BMW Group DesignworksUSA
Client: Landscape Forms, Michigan, USA
Project name: "metro40"



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 17 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Oh look, AUDIblog readers are making fun of BMW. WHAT a surprise.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Finally a new meaning for BMW: Bus Metro Walk
        • 5 Years Ago
        Or: Broken Minds Working

        They've lost it
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wow...while it's not unusual historically for car designers to design things not in the automotive realm (Alex Tremulis, Raymond Loewy, Brooks Stevens, and Virgil Exner come to mind), they were usually working on their own as independent contracters when they did these things, and their non-automotive ventures usually weren't branded with the automotive brands.

      It seems to me that BMW's marketers and designers are getting terribly bored. First, they totally screw up BMW's design language just to be different. Then they started introducing cars that were answers to questions no one was asking (X6). And now they're branching out into home design and...bus stop design.

      I fail to see how stuff like this builds the brand.
        • 5 Years Ago
        this is less about building a brand and more about making better benches for hobos to sleep on!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Hey, bums have a right to sit in a BMW too...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Completely useless in AZ.

      The roof of the shelter never casts a shadow over the seat.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It will take about 15 seconds flat for these to be vandalized in the real world.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Question: Will this furniture win every comparison test in Car and Drive too????
        • 5 Years Ago
        Although the new E-class is a fine automobile which received our highest marks, it still cannot match the ride of the BMW Bus Stop. The BMW Bus Stop or (BBS) rides the fine line between sport and luxury. While you never second guess the BBS, you sometimes find too much slop in the E's suspension.

        Cumulative Score
        E-Class 94 points
        BMW Bus Stop 91 points

        Adjusted for C&D Douchebaggery
        E-Class 94 points
        BMW Bus Stop 106 points

        BMW WINS!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Will the rival Porsche Design street furniture..."race" my bus faster to my destination? ;p

        "Porsche Design
        Style Porsche is by no means confined to building cars.... Of course, Porsche has a particular affinity for the streets of the world. Thus, the fact that street furniture has been part of Style Porsche's focus for some time now is not surprising."

        http://www.porsche-design.com
        • 5 Years Ago
        Comparison:
        Zr1, GTR, Murcielago, and the BMW waterfountain.

        Yea the other cars were faster, but you can't drink water out of them.
      • 5 Years Ago
      To the baffled viewer, BMW DesignworksUSA is an industrial design house for all sorts of industries. They do more than just cars and bikes, though you occasionally do see some early BMW auto designs in the parking lot.

      • 5 Years Ago
      I fail to see the point.

      T-shirts and clothes, glasses, watches, even the Porsche boat I can understand. But street furniture?
        • 5 Years Ago
        DesignworksUSA was founded in the 70s and had nothing to do with BMW until the late 80s. They're an industrial design firm who specializes in ergonomics. BMW was a frequent client and they bought the company in the 90s. BMW DesignworksUSA still works on projects unrelated to BMW. Those benches aren't badged as BMW, but as the name of the company that contracted them, LandscapeForms.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Is there a market for BMW- or Audi-branded (or any other brand) street furniture?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Thank you Goosed.

        So these benches are just made by a subsidiary of BMW, and not necessarily BMW-branded benches?
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