The Georgian design studio Rooms have reclaimed and reinvented the Soviet-inspired bus stop seat as a sleek wooden bench — and they’re inviting you to vandalise it.
The design duo behind Rooms, Nata Janberidze and Keti Toloraia, found their inspiration in the scratched school desks and public benches they saw growing up in Soviet Georgia. They presented their object as part of their In Circulation collection at the Design Miami festival last month.
Exploring both the aesthetics and the motivations behind small acts of individual rebellion practised on public designs, they said: “Perhaps the desire to perform an act of destruction was a hidden protest against a system where nothing belonged to you as an individual. Or maybe it was motivated by the desire to privatise everything that was public by leaving a personal mark.”
Beyond Soviet and post-Soviet era inspired designs, Rooms Studio hope to give a “second life” to both iconic and forgotten historical Georgian designs from other historical periods too.
Their collection In Circulation includes the rehashing of a medieval-inspired iron chandelier with stylised bull heads (which also feature on their Soviet-inspired benches), a stone carved supra coffee table echoing prehistoric rough shapes, and an elegant, mostly black and white rug made in collaboration with cc-tapis, which juxtaposes a pair of lions to the constellation in their name.