These are short interviews with designers, manufacturers, artists, and residents who use the tiny bits of urbanity we generally call street furniture. This interview was conducted over email and edited for clarity.
I’m Bruno Miloux a French designer specialized in product and transport design. I graduated from the L’École de design Nantes Atlantique with a Transportation design degree in 2019. Since then I have made my path through different approaches like systemic design, user-centered design, and design thinking. I still prefer working on industrial stuff and I am pursing a Master’s degree in urban design at L’École de design Nantes Atlantique.
Since I was a child I wanted to link my future job with creativity, and being a designer seems to be the perfect combination. I also had the opportunity to meet the designers of the Peugeot Design Lab which confirmed my choice for this dream job.
Every new project teaches you a lot of amazing things about life, about people, and about technology. Designing street furniture is very challenging because many actors are involved in the process. You have to take into consideration the constraints of space, sanitary conditions, accessibility, legislation, and even politics. One fun thing I have learned from this type of project is to avoid horizontal flat surfaces: you don’t allow people to forgot stuff on your furniture, you don’t allow water to stagnate on your furniture, and sometimes it makes it easier to integrate into space.
My favorite piece of street furniture is a bench from the Metro 40 collection designed by landscapes forms and BMW Designworks. By the way, I love all pieces of this collection for their organic (but not too much) form.
Our modern cities lack a strong vision, but architects and urbanists will probably have a better answer. I had the chance to grow up at Le Plessis-Robinson a city in the south of Paris. There was a such holistic view in the urban planning that every building seemed to be connected together. I have never seen a place like that somewhere else and it’s a shame that modern cities don’t really have a strong plan for their development.
For me, making a city more equitable is linked with the previous question: you need a strong direction in your development plan. You have to consider every place and every people at your location. Like Nantes, a city in the west of France, giving easy access to culture for everyone is a good starting point. That means creating free public spaces with high-quality services and putting the well-being of the citizen in the center of the thought.
In the end, I truly believe that the future of urban design is about sustainability. Doing less but better.