Modular furniture to reshape public spaces.

Project Umbra

is a social design project I started during the summer of 2018 in Florence. I wanted to shape how people inhabited public space and used it as a way to forum to meet strangers and spark conversations. To encourage people to go out of their normal paths in a crowded piazza, I designed a modular chair which encouraged two people to use.

When I was walking along the piazzas of Florence, I realized that most people would walk along the edges of the square and the center would be almost empty. With so much unused empty space, I saw this as an opportunity to create objects which could activate this space by designing modular chairs which required two people to use. There would be a tarp on both ends, and sitting on one end would raise the tarp for the other person and provide shade. Therefore, the chair would require a partner to use. This could be a friend, an acquaintance, or a complete stranger.
Umbra All
Umbra All

Designed in an elongated U-shape, these chairs would be dispersed throughout a plaza, creating pockets of space which break up the established movement patterns in a square.

When dispersed in the plazza, they would be able to break up the normal movement pattern of people. These could be randomly dispersed or follow a pattern like rows which would change how the user interacts with the space.