From grandma’s plastic covered loveseat to the once-loved, now-wrecked college futon, all couches doomed for the dump are revitalized in this art installation that seeks to make cities a friendlier—and more comfortable—place to inhabit.
Friends of French-born, New York–based artist Shani Ha found their old couches repurposed and transformed into sculptural, functional wall pieces, appropriately named Comfort Extensions, that aim to encourage individuals to invade public spaces in a comfortable and odd way.
Comfort Extensions maneuvered its way into New York City’s public spaces and seized nooks, crannies, and light posts to make way for an in situ exhibit that focuses on public space appropriations and the reconsideration of social behavior. The project, entitled EmpathiCity, is a transitory form of three-dimensional graffiti that serves as an extension of architecture, and, when used by people, can create a welcoming environment in fast moving cities.
Paris, Miami, New York, Los Angeles and Brussels are among the cities targeted by these infectious political art statements that encourage individuals to reflect on their social behavior and break loose of the typical non-empathic characteristics that city-goers presumably harbor.
“These actions of leaning on architectural surfaces can be interpreted as active ways to live in the city and affirm our presence by appropriating portions of public spaces” said Ha, “It’s almost a form of protest, a social statement. EmpathiCity doesn’t solve the problem but tries to address it.”