A humble bench in Calgary, Canada triggered a social media storm earlier this week.
Isaac Azuelos posted a snap of the seating decorated with the colours of the rainbow flag – a worldwide symbol of LGBT pride – but the only problem? The bench also featured the kind of bars that sparked fury for excluding rough sleepers in Bournemouth earlier this year.
When you’re inclusive but still hate the poor. pic.twitter.com/WB1kTuxXkb
— Isaac Azuelos (@isaacazuelos) May 12, 2018
The tweet racked up more than 31,000 retweets and 114,000 likes in the space of four days and provoked a response from the people behind the bench, pop-up art collective containR. The group pointed out that the bench was “a donation to our non-profit by city workers, specifically for an elder patron who walks by every day” and insisted that their intention was not to “institute or uphold the principles of hostile or exclusionary design”.
The space reached out to me with some more information about the bench. pic.twitter.com/ICg3r2ANro
— Isaac Azuelos (@isaacazuelos) May 13, 2018
Nevertheless, artist Stuart Semple found the seating a “shocking” example of hostile design. And he would know. Stuart was behind the campaign that rallied against identical bars that were placed on benches in Bournemouth earlier this year, eventually forcing the town’s council to remove them.