Designed by Tomek Rygalik, Circula is a circular bench made from sustainable materials such as FSC-certified wood, recycled plastic and phosphate steel. Round in shape and with room for multiple people, the benches are meant to encourage dialogue and social interactions.
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The project was originally commissioned for use among children in schools, but the Poland-based designer believes that the benches will come in handy when social distancing decreases following an end to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Humans are social creatures. That fact contains both the problem and the solution to our current crisis,” Rygalik said. “Human beings are not intended to be a solitary species: we are social animals. Today everyone’s talking about distancing – but there will come a moment dedicated to recovery from all of this, both physically and relationally.”
Rygalik chose a circle, the perfect symbol for balance and harmony with neither a beginning nor an end, as the design focus to stimulate sharing and creative flow. This shape also makes Circula an ideal meeting spot for brainstorming sessions with coworkers or socializing among friends. For each piece purchased, the company will donate another to an association or foundation that requests a bench for social or charitable purposes.
Circula comes in three different versions: wood, recycled plastic or phosphate steel. The wood design uses spruce or pine sourced from responsibly-managed, FSC- or PEFC-certified forests, while the recycled plastic bench is made using 100% recycled packaging in collaboration with Boomplastic. The wood and steel materials present a minimalist aesthetic, but the recycled plastic material stays partially transparent to highlight the unique, multicolored fragments within it.
The bench uses three interlocking modules held together by a hidden locking mechanism. Its three legs can be anchored to the ground if needed and guarantee stability even on uneven surfaces. Seating capacity ranges from two to six people, and the currently available standard size is 1,900 mm in diameter.
Images via Studio Rygalic