Emma Rees-Raaijmakers

SYD. A chair for Sydney. Nothing more. SYD will transform public spaces throughout the city.

SYD is not a new idea. But Australia doesn’t have one yet. SYD takes its inspiration from the SENAT chair and armchair that originally appeared in the Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris in 1923. This chair has become something of a legend in its own right. Its style is an emblem of French design – an expression of French culture. Sydney’s public spaces need SYD.

SYD compliments existing public spaces – parks, squares, forecourts – landscaped or built. SYD facilitates and creates opportunities for conversation. It is flexible and allows for people to change the dynamic of a space and to choose how they want to interact. A park bench is static and one dimensional. It’s impossible to have a conversation sitting in a row. SYD allows people to chase the sun, to move into the shade or to find a little more space (more relevant than ever in these times).

SYD is – by its very being – transformational. It’s disruptive, adaptable and oddly essential. It is communal and personal. It is designed within an inch of its life to be bold, full of character and resilient. Designed spaces often underdeliver, limiting behaviours and interactions. Further, many public spaces in Sydney are underutilized and transient. Often designed to be looked at or passed through – not to be immersed in. SYD will inject a new life into these spaces, transforming them from emptiness and silence to one of conversation and pause. SYD will make every public space a livingroom for all.

Subscribe for updates on the Public Space Ideas Competition