Garden furniture - aside from the obvious prerequisites of functionality and weather-resistance - need never be dull. This was the founding principal of New York-based Cumulus Studios when it launched in 2008 under the direction of landscape architect Nathalie Karg, who increasingly found that however spectacular her creations, clients were invariably stumped as to how to furnish their oases. Karg's solution? She would invite her favourite artists - both established and emerging - to envisage and create objects for the great outdoors. The results include parasols by Jan Mancuska, a 'Hare swing' by Adam McEwan, a birdhouse by Allan McCollum and a wheel-along croquet set by Mark Dion.
So far, so imaginative. And now, three collections in, Karg is the brains behind an additional series launched under the banner title of the 'b-line' bench. Once again calling on the vision of contemporary artists, she invited Tom Burr, Jim Drain, Jason Meadows and Rirkrit Tiravanija to each design a garden bench that would be both beautiful and affordable. And we're not the only ones to rate them; they've been showcased at the Tanya Bonakdar Gallery in New York, as well as the Blum & Poe in Los Angeles. Watch this space: there are more designs soon-to-launch from the likes of Sam Durant, Ugo Rondinone, Jack Pierson and Rob Wynne.