A Bench With A Pedal-Powered Streetlight Built In

Central St. Martins student Bharat Bhargava's concept urges strangers to interact with one another.
This concept marries some of our favorite things: bikes, good-looking street furniture, and self-generated power. Not only does it provide a bench (always in short supply) but it invites people to hop on the attached stationary bike and actually exert themselves -- and in turn create enough juice to power a streetlight. Altogether, it’s a purpose-driven lesson in urban civics.

The idea comes from Bharat Bhargava, a postgrad design student at Central Saint Martins, in London, whose goal was to get pedestrians talking to one another. “The combined functionality allows for social interaction amongst strangers,” Bhargava tells Co.Design. “Using human power, this strategy also addresses ownership issues by allowing users to pedal to power their neighborhood park lighting.”

While we’d love to see such furniture installed along the streets of New York, we’re afraid that some of our residents seem to grasp the concept of ownership all too well, so much so that they reserve the right to trash everything in their wake. In very short order, what was once a multifunctional piece of design would be reduced to its starting point: a bench.