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Times Square is bringing in innovative seating, including a place for Strand books, this summer

Designers are attempting to make Times Square a more hospitable place with creative seating, including a “Title Wave” bench that includes books from The Strand Book Store kiosk.

While you’re sunning in the sea of people later this spring, the Times Square Alliance hopes you’ll reach down and pick up a book from the bench designed by Hive Public Space. Or maybe you’ll be inspired by “Island Collection,” plant-lined modular seating, named by Brad Ascalon, or “The Village,” podlike chairs by designer Joe Doucet.

Another design element includes “Drop Sign,” which is a teardrop-shaped sign that responds to wind and touch.

This is the first time TSA has opened up the space to designers for new solutions to seating, signs and book displays, according to Tim Tompkins, president of the Alliance. The effort is called “Times Square Design Lab.”

“To inaugurate the Design Lab, Times Square asked great New York City designers to develop innovative ideas for improving one of the world’s most iconic public spaces, building on permanent transformations, such as the red steps and the pedestrian plazas, and temporary transformations through design and public art,” he said in a statement.

The new pieces, which are meant to be seen as public art as well, will be unveiled on a yet-to-be-announced date in May.

Making an oasis in the busiest section of the city is quite a feat, so we’re eager to try them out.

Here’s what you’ll see:

Podlike benches

Photo Credit: Joe Doucet

"The Village" looks like tiny houses that pedestrians can take a rest in.

Bookcase seating

The Strand has a kiosk in Times Square,
Photo Credit: Hive Public Space

The Strand has a kiosk in Times Square, which is open when weather permits. The plan is to place "Title Wave" nearby so that readers can enjoy the space.

More natural elements

Photo Credit: Brad Ascalon

"Island Collection" will use shrubbery planted in cubes to bring in some semblance of tranquility while you sit in the busy plaza.

And cubes

Modular seating can be used as storage, though
Photo Credit: Brad Ascalon

Modular seating can be used as storage, though we're sure they'll be good for sitting and taking your coffee break on.

A punching bag-like sign

It's like that inflatable clown that you used
Photo Credit: Louis Lim

It's like that inflatable clown that you used to punch when you were little, except you shouldn't punch this. It's a sign. It moves with the wind and at your (gentle) touch.


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