We have always made it our mission at Wallpaper* to spotlight young design talent, so when the RIBA London approached us to partner in a design competition for architecture students, graduates and young practices, we signed up right away.
The competition, aptly named Pews & Perches, was launched at the end of 2011 to give the UK's young creative blood the chance to showcase their design prowess by creating a one-off bench. The results are currently being installed at the Royal Victoria Docks London Pleasure Gardens park - London's latest summertime venue and one of the 2012 London Festival of Architecture's key East London site.
With 'The Playful City' as its theme, the park will also include a number of architectural follies, hanging gardens, a pool and an oyster bar, which will remain open throughout the summer.
A total of 32 bench designs were selected and built, and with the opening day fast approaching, we couldn't resist paying a visit to the site to take it all in. The designs have been imaginative and varied, with benches made of everything from bamboo, straws, broom-handles and railway sleepers, to cast concrete and masterfully bent wood in bright colours.