The People Behind the Seats
In 2009 Massey University School of Industrial Design students were given the challenge to design outdoor seating that would reflect Plimmerton’s unique character. Teams of students formed and the creative juices began flowing.
Intensive briefing by council staff and residents was followed by design and consultation with Plimmerton community. Design concepts were presented by the students in Plimmerton and on a blog site which encouraged feedback on the different designs. A period of design modification led to a second public presentation of refined models and allowed for more interaction between students and residents.
After many months of effort a winning design, Matau, was selected by public vote and academic staff assessment. The winning team shared a $1000 scholarship presented by the PRA. Matau was inspired by the shapes and textures of Maori fishing tools and waka.
Because the waterfront in Plimmerton is very long and divides into zones with different geological, sea and weather conditions it was decided that different seats would work well in different locations.
A Massey design called End of the line was chosen for the entrance to Plimmerton and places around the railway station area. This design features railway line cantilevered seat supports with wooden slatted seats and rolled back support.
Matau seats will be placed around from the boat ramp in Beach Road to the Fire Station. Check out the location map.
Another seat design finalist called, Wave, will have a simple concrete seat inlaid with paua shells and will be placed in several areas where the sea washes over the walls in high tides.
Other outdoor areas will feature macrocarpa picnic tables and bench seats with matching backed recliner seats.
Selecting seats for the various locations has been tricky because of the very harsh marine conditions and has required a lot of expert advice and consultation. Dana seats will be installed in Karehana Bay and in the shopping area.
Another Massey design, Modular, is going to be grouped on the paving on our cafe corner.
The first designs went into production in May 2010 and were out progressively and put into place during that year.
Seating is sponsored by local residents and each seat has a plaque acknowledging the generosity of a donor to the project … they are all in locations as close as we could get to the first location of choice.