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About the Work

Based on long-term research on the topic of proxemics and distance and inspired by traditional as well as modern benches to be found worldwide, the series of Modified Social Benches emerged.

The Modified Social Benches borrow their basic form from ubiquitous park or garden benches, but their design is altered to various degrees to make the act of sitting a conscious physical process. Thus, the benches question the spatial separations in social situations and challenge the amount of space that people feel necessary to set between themselves and others.

With their modifications, the benches transform their surroundings into places of social activity fostering dialogue between the users and the passerby. People are invited to play an active role by only using the benches as seating but enlarging the opportunities of social practice offered by a bench.

The Modified Social Benches offer an excellent opportunity for social interaction for playfulness, laughter as well as communication and thus can be a sign for understanding and dialogue, for empathy and love – a tool that is needed in times like these.


 This artwork was donated to the collection of Miami-Dade Art in Public Places by The Underline, made possible through a donation from Friends of The Underline on behalf of major gifts from the Lynn & Louis Wolfson II Family Foundation, and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Jeppe Hein

1974, Copenhagen, Denmark

Jeppe Hein was born Copenhagen, Denmark in 1974. He lives and works in Berlin, Germany.

Hein bases much of his practice on the relationships that exist between our internal consciousness and more physical elements. Using minimal yet elegant materials that often reflect our own image, as well as forms that playfully encourage us to move our bodies and to change positions, Jeppe Hein creates an interactive and constantly changing dialogue between the spectator, the work, and the exhibition space that surrounds it.