Homely Pew

Resurrecting the idea of converting the church pew-to-bed for the needy is the latest brainchild of Spanish architect, artist and industrial designer Curros Claret.

Claret explores the multi functional possibilities of the wooden prayer bench and redesigns it with a backrest that reclines to transform into a bed.

Inspired by the historic association of churches to provide refuge for pilgrims, war causalities and the homeless, Claret hopes to extend this benefaction “to marginalised individuals (homeless, drug addicts, abandoned ) but others with few resources like recently arrived immigrants, young visitors to a fair or a musical festival, and mugged tourists.” His socially conscious designs aim to build upon different ways of human interactions with their surroundings and with animals, identify and address the gaps in between in a practical and meaningful manner.

Claret’s new design has recently been presented at the Galeria H2O in Barcelona.

Photography Credit: Xavi Padrós

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Global Appreciation

Bringing along several superlative labels and creative brains of the world, under its bandwagon, is the World Architecture Festival 2008, which was held late October in Barcelona.

The WAF awards website claims (perhaps rightfully) itself to be the largest awards programme in the world, totalling 17 categories. The first annual World Architecture Festival Awards eventually attracted more than 700 entries from 63 countries worldwide.

The new faculty building for Luigi Bocconi University in Milan by Irish design firm Grafton Architects won the title of “Building of the Year.” Festival director Paul Finch described the building as ‘a totally 3d piece of design’ and praised it for its relationship with the city.

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