13 January – A photo of our Social Sofa on Bankastraat appeared in an article in this week’s HaagWestNieuws about Social Sofas in The Hague.
It was Tilburg cabaret artist Karin Bruers who came up with the idea in 2006 to install one thousand symbolic ‘sofas’ in Tilburg after a political debate about ‘social cooling’. She pointed out the huge difference between communities in the mid-1950s and now, and had noticed the gradual disappearance of the humble street bench where people could sit and talk with one another. Bruers designed the prototype for the vandal-proof concrete chaise longue herself. Each sofa is unique because volunteers from the community cover the concrete with their own mosaic design.
The present location of our beautiful Social Sofa, designed by Irene Vonk and completed in November 2009 by Dutch and international volunteers, is not ideal. Hopefully when the remodeling of Bankastraat has finally taken place a more suitable spot will be found.
In the meantime, last year Archipelbuurt residents came up with their own take on the social sofa in Celebesstraat: the ’buren banken’ providing a welcome resting place for elderly neighbours on their way to or back from the shops.