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