Big Bench #137 - Atlas Obscura

Big Bench #137

Civenna, Italy

Hundreds of these oversized benches have been built as an art project meant to change people's perspectives. 

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The first Big Bench with this particular design was constructed in 2010 by Chris Bangle on the grounds of his residence and studio in Clavesana, as an installation looking out onto the panorama and accessible to visitors. The change in perspective due to the size of the bench makes one feel like a child, able to be amazed by the beauty of the landscape seen through new eyes.

“It is a great lesson in the use of contextual innovation,” says Bangle. “We are so obsessed by discovering new things that we often deny ourselves the interesting feeling of experiencing well-known things but in a different context.”

Over the last few years, more benches have been built, including this one in Civenna. Most of the benches are in Italy, but a few of the 300+ benches are located in other countries.

Bangle freely provides prospective bench builders with designs and instructions, asking as the only condition that they be placed in a scenic position on publicly accessible land. He wants any replicas to respect the social spirit that gave birth to the original bench: not a private installation, but rather part of a collective experience that anyone can share end enjoy.

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