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Gently rotating, solar-powered benches by ENESS prompt city-dwellers to slow down

In a park, round and pastel-colored benches slowly rotate. Seated on them, people are treated to a gradually shifting perspective. Feet are dangling if they're short or repositioning on the ground if they're taller. An installation at this year's Melbourne Design Week, the benches were conceived by Australian art and technology studio ENESS. Their unhurried motion is powered by solar panels installed in the center of their flower-like shape, causing them to rotate slightly faster on sunny days and at a glacial pace when it's cloudy.

Much like Marjan van Aubel's Sunne, which brings the sun into homes through a beautifully designed lamp, 'A Solar-Powered Bench that Spins Ever So Slowly' transforms solar energy from a technological, utilitarian commodity into the engine of an aesthetically pleasing object. One that can spark joy and wonder while weaving renewable energy into daily life. Last month, the project secured Silver at the Better Future Melbourne Design Awards 2023.

Trend Bite

People are busy, on the go, rushing from one obligation to the next. They may realize they'd benefit from switching gears once in a while, but momentum and habit are commanding forces. By design, A Solar-Powered Bench that Spins Ever So Slowly transports its users to a slower dimension, prompting park-goers and city-dwellers to engage with their environment differently.

ENESS, the firm that created the bench, thinks of its team members as 'happiness architects' and "believes in the power of providing art in everyday life that fires the imagination; that provides joy, happiness and beauty in unexpected places." Could your brand take on the role of happiness architect, inserting a moment of pleasure into your audience's day? How could you help people slow down or rediscover a sense of play?

Innovation of the day

Spotted by: Liesbeth den Toom