Thursday, September 5, 2013

Social Seating Looped In

CONTACT: Mark Christman, University City District | 215-243-0555 or [email protected]

(Philadelphia, PA) – University City District (UCD) is excited to unveil Looped In, an innovative new social seating structure poised to “pop-up” in University City public spaces. Seeking a unique and portable seating system that encourages gathering and interaction, UCD selected Brian Phillips and Interface Studio Architects (ISA) to conceptualize and design the structure, which also explores the intersection of art and functionality. Looped In will make its debut on September 6th at The Porch at 30th Street Station – just in time for UCD’s Free At Noon Man Man concert - and will then appear in Clark Park in October in conjunction with Figment. (Future destinations to be determined, and open to suggestion!)

Built in Philadelphia by En-Motion Design, Looped In is designed to last. The rigid, angular, powder-coated steel frame will support several users on each seat at any given time. The seats are crafted out of sustainably harvested and locally-sourced Black Locust wood that is rot resistant and durable enough for outdoor use. Looped In consists of three distinct “looped” pieces that are fully portable, yet durable and hefty enough to withstand high demand. Each unit uses a custom steel frame comfortably crafted and designed for reclining or upright seating or somewhere in between.

The goal of Looped In is to provide a novel approach to enlivening public space and encouraging social gathering. Nate Hommel, UCD’s Capital Projects Manager, added that “People love being around other people. Looped In is an evolution of our concept that site furniture can enhance comfort and social interaction in our public spaces. We hope our social seat is a catalyst that inspires social interactivity.”

Looped In will be placed in public spaces throughout University City for several weeks at a time. Users are encouraged to take pictures, send them [email protected] or simply post on social media sites tagging them #LoopedIn.

Social Seating


About University City District

University City District (UCD) was founded in 1997 by a partnership of world-renowned anchor institutions, small businesses and residents to improve economic vitality and quality of life. Our primary mission is community revitalization. We work within a place-based, data-driven framework to invest in world-class public spaces, address crime and public safety, bring life to commercial corridors, connect low-income residents to careers, and promote job growth and innovation.

About Interface Studio Architects

Interface Studio Architects (ISA) is a design and research office based in Philadelphia. The office is a cross-platform environment for architectural design, experiments, and teaching which inform one another to produce innovative solutions for clients, as well as create possibilities for design impacts at-large. We believe that creativity and innovation are triggered by limitations. Our process seeks the unique territory within every project where inspired results are driven by the constraints of budget, program, site conditions, and energy performance. This mandates a pragmatic approach as we seek realizable, innovative solutions through careful analysis expressed in bold design moves.

About En-Motion Design

En-Motion Design is full service Design and Metal Fabrication shop. We specialize in making outstanding steel objects such as stairs, railings, furniture, and sculptural pieces. En-Motion also enjoys fabricating and installing structural components for residential and commercial projects.