Japanese firm Torafu Architects has designed a series of elegant wooden benches with integrated walking stick handles. Each version of the Dōzo bench is complete with a purpose made cane, which both serves as a novelty leg for the bench and as a means of support to elderly patrons as they stand up and sit down.
This bench beckons passersby to sit down as if saying ‘dōzo suwatte kudasai’, which is Japanese for ‘please, have a seat’. In designing the chair, the firm wanted to create a seat that could be shared by passersby, while remaining the property of a private individual. The Dōzo bench comes in 3 individual styles, each with a different cane handle design: a U-shaped head, a dome head and a traditional cane support.
Elegant and simple, the Dōzo bench is crafted from just two primary materials: red cedar is used for the seat while steel is used for the frame and legs — one of which extends through the wood to become a cane. The seat’s beveled edges pair with the rounded steel legs and sloping head of the cane to create a smooth and inviting silhouette. The firm hope that the humble nature and playful design of the bench will encourage urban interactions and chance social encounters.