Pop-Up Schmop-Up
By Tiffany Chu / Published by Dwell

Folding completely flat when not in use, Austrian artists Liddy Scheffknecht and Armin B. Wagner's Pop Up desk furniture is made from a 3 x 9 x 6.5' cardboard sheet. While fire safety and structural support may remain questionable, the idea that an instant mobile office that can be constructed from discarded office materials deserves a vigorous nod.

In Utrecht, Dutch designers Carmela Bogman and Rogier Martens have developed a set of trio pop up benches that can be pumped out of the pavement using a hydraulic system. Created from aluminum bench platforms resting atop three retractable posts, the heights of these pieces can be individually configured to lie flat at pavement level, stand at a maximum of thirty inches, or anywhere in between. Although tabletop hygiene may be an issue, this concept of urban-furniture-as-needed breaks new ground in public and play space flexibility.

The UriLift is a cylindrical triage of individual urinals that aim to relieve the issue of public toilets, in terms of space and beautification. Popping out of the ground via the press of a button, the UriLift can be connected to the sewer system and requires minimal maintenance and cleaning. Other variations include the UriVisible (a non-retractable UriLift) and the UriLady (which comes with a toilet seat). Already installed in Esbjerg, Denmark, and a few other spots across Europe, UriLift is activated and lifted every night by remote control from a nearby bar at 10.00pm, and is lowered the next morning, when all that remains is a small circle in the ground.

From German design studio Rugwind comes the Guerilla Bench, an innocent-looking cable box that gracefully morphs into a street bench. Camouflaged as an unremarkable street object, it holds and unfolds into a comfy secret that only the neighborhood knows. (Do take a look at their well-crafted video here.)

Tiffany Chu


Besides writing and designing, Tiffany Chu's passions include photography, cartography, and all things Scandinavian.

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