Jalees by Aljoud Lootah
‘Please Sit Here’ is a collaboration between the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) and three local designers to develop benches for outdoor use that enable people to sit two metres apart while also adapting to allow closer proximity in time for relaxed social distancing regulations.
Emirati designer Aljood Lootah designed ‘Jalees’, which features primitive characteristics of old outdoor benches that were commonly found around the UAE and in most Emirati households. ‘Jalees’ pays tribute to the benches’ minimal structure and physical attributes.
The vertical and horizontal wooden planks that were used to construct the old benches inspired its minimal design, with the aim of creating a modern interpretation of a traditional item.
The bench also responds to social distancing measures by offering a flexible seating system, with octagonal seats that slide across the entire length of the bench to create distance between strangers. To bring two people together, the seats are able to slide closer. Seating can be added or removed from the bench, in line with requirements.
Smaller sliding and removable tables are placed between the two seats to provide the users with a space to place their cups of coffee, phones or small personal belongings.