Tech Students Create New ‘Benchmark’ for Design in Boston

Graduate students from the Georgia Tech School of Industrial Design have taken grand prize honors in a Boston, Mass., competition to "reimagine the public bench." The team won $5,000 for their design, "Bowsprit," which is named for a pole that extends from the prow of a ship. 

Bowsprit in Action
Click image to enlarge

A father and son rest on Bowsprit.

Photo Courtesy of: 

Diana Ye
Design Museum Boston

Sanchit Mittal, one of the students behind the design, said the inspiration came from the team’s initial research of Boston’s Fort Point Channel area. Mittal, along with Rui Chen and Christa Lee, saw that the area had a unique blend of steel buildings and wooden docks.

“We tried to create a fusion like that in our bench by using two contrasting materials—aluminum and wood,” Mittal said. “We made it modern looking and something that incorporates a feeling that it belongs to a ship’s dock.”

The competition, sponsored by Design Museum Boston, was aimed at softening the largely urban Fort Point Channel area while supporting socially and environmentally friendly designs. The competition received more than 170 entries from 23 different countries.

Wendell Wilson, a professor of practice with the School of Industrial Design, assigned the design project to students in his ID6201 class. After Bowsprit was selected as a semifinalist, he worked with local Atlanta businesses to secure the materials and services the student designers needed to make the Bowsprit prototype a reality.

“I am continually amazed at the generosity of companies and individuals that step forward to assist with student projects,” he said.

Bowsprit will remain on display as a part of the Street Seats exhibit until October.