Couch Surf

(Team: Joe Jin, Patrick Li and Tony Ross)

Although the Beaches neighborhood of Toronto is a summer long festival of color and pageantry, this is not true of the winter months. As such, the Winter Stations Design Competition encourages international artists, designers, architects and landscape architects to propose a temporary installation during the winter months that 1) incorporates the Beaches neighborhood's existing lifeguard stands; and 2) focuses on the theme of warmth.

Working from the belief that few things convey the notion of warmth as friends and family gathered together on the living room sofa, we decided to recontextualize this experience by appropriating and extending a typical lifeguard chair to seat a maximum of 9 people. Perched atop of an existing steel-framed lifeguard stand with a singular point of entry/exit (an existing built-in ladder on the lifeguard stand), Couch Surf creates warmth through physical proximity and a shared experience and vantage point between family, friends and/or strangers. 

Couch Surf is made from salvaged wood retrieved from downed trees from past winters and following the end of the installation period, will be removed from the lifeguard stand and placed along the beach (or alternate public space) for year-round use.

Few things convey the notion of warmth as much as family and friends gathered together on the living room sofa.

A typical lifeguard chair on the beach.

An atypical lifeguard 'sofa' on the beach.

Couch Surf, 2015.