Paul Cocksedge’s installation at LDF 19 invites visitors to Please Be Seated
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Paul Cocksedge’s installation at LDF 19 invites visitors to Please Be Seated

STIR @ LDF19
Designer Paul Cocksedge’s ambitious landmark installation Please Be Seated doubles up as urban furniture at the London Design Festival 2019.

by Jincy Iype Sep 13, 2019

The London Design Festival 2019 (LDF19) returns with its 17th edition this year, marking city-wide celebration of design and all things creative at the Design Museum, London. The museum will yet again host a series of specially commissioned projects by internationally celebrated designers to promote London's design excellence.

On this occasion, an extraordinary installation that is expected to draw huge crowd is the Landmark Project by British designer Paul Cocksedge. Commissioned by Broadgate, it is set to transform Finsbury Avenue Square in London at the festival this year. Aptly named Please Be Seated, the installation unfurls in an undulating arrangement, its curves designed to provide spaces to sit on and walk under.

Please Be Seated, an installation by British designer Paul Cocksedge | Please Be Seated | Paul Cocksedge | London Design Festival 2019| STIR
Please Be Seated, an installation by British designer Paul Cocksedge Image Credit: Courtesy of PAUL COCKSEDGE STUDIO

This urban furniture has a massive scale, yet leaves the square totally visible, ingeniously animating the space it is set within. The structure’s centre is rendered in a light, tan colour, and transitions towards a darker, more neutral shade of wooden brown towards the outer rings. The wavy assembly designates interweaving areas, where one can sit on the lower bends, and walk through, or else stand underneath the elevated curves. Please Be Seated encourages interaction and responds to the ‘rhythm of the community’ that circulates in Broadgate, further enhancing London’s largest pedestrian-ised neighbourhood.

Paul Cocksedge photographed during the engineering of Please Be Seated | Please Be Seated | Paul Cocksedge | London Design Festival 2019| STIR
Paul Cocksedge photographed during the engineering of Please Be Seated Image Credit: Mark Cocksesdge
Paul Cocksedge photographed during the engineering of Please Be Seated | Please Be Seated | Paul Cocksedge | London Design Festival 2019| STIR
Paul Cocksedge photographed during the engineering of Please Be Seated Image Credit: Mark Cocksesdge
Every single aspect of the installation is tailored to its environment as well as the function it serves. The curves raise up to create backrests and places to sit, as well as space for people to walk under, or pause and find some shade. It walks the line between a craft object and a design solution. It occupies the square without blocking it. – Paul Cocksedge
British designer Paul Cocksedge | Please Be Seated | Paul Cocksedge | London Design Festival 2019| STIR
British designer Paul Cocksedge Image Credit: Dylan Thomas

Cocksedge has collaborated with Essex-based high end interiors company White & White in order to re-use and re-imagine the wood being used to build the installation that has been built from recycled scaffolding planks.

Broadgate’s The Space will also host an exhibition showcasing Cocksedge’s work, including the process of Please Be Seated, from start to finish. He will also be in conversation with a panel of experts, discussing meaningful design for the public realm, as part of the Shoreditch Design Triangle’s Design Night, a cultural event promoting its activities during the London Design Festival.

  • Conceptual sketch of the installation | Please Be Seated | Paul Cocksedge | London Design Festival 2019| STIR
    Conceptual sketch of the installation Image Credit: Courtesy of PAUL COCKSEDGE STUDIO
  • Conceptual sketch of the installation | Please Be Seated | Paul Cocksedge | London Design Festival 2019| STIR
    LDF – Please Be Seated (Full Structure 3D) Image Credit: Courtesy of ARUP
  • Full structural plan and counterweights | Please Be Seated | Paul Cocksedge | London Design Festival 2019| STIR
    Full structural plan and counterweights Image Credit: Courtesy of ARUP
  • Splice details | Please Be Seated | Paul Cocksedge | London Design Festival 2019| STIR
    Splice details Image Credit: Courtesy of ARUP
  • Base frame - outer bench | Please Be Seated | Paul Cocksedge | London Design Festival 2019| STIR
    Base frame - outer bench Image Credit: Courtesy of ARUP
  • Base Frame – middle and inner bench | Please Be Seated | Paul Cocksedge | London Design Festival 2019| STIR
    Base Frame – middle and inner bench Image Credit: Courtesy of ARUP

The London Design Festival is open from September 14-22, 2019, and Please Be Seated would be on display until October 11, 2019.

Project Details

Name of the project: Please Be Seated
Location: Finsbury Avenue Square, Broadgate, EC2M 2PA
Designer: Paul Cocksedge
Supported by: Broadgate
Further support: ARUP and White & White, London

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About Author

Jincy Iype

Jincy Iype

Iype is a trained architect, who often indulges in writing and amateur photography. She was a cinephile and a melophile even before she knew what those words meant. She is inclined towards architecture journalism, and can usually be found curled up reading a book, or cooking for therapeutic relief.

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