This bench brings people who are open to talk together and helps with socializing in the city.
The Plauderbank(talkingbench) is an adaption of a typical Viennese park bench with the aim to provide a space for (small)talks between people who don´t know each other yet. Who takes a seat is open for a talk to whoever is walking by and sits down on the other side. If there are initial difficulties the Gesprächsstoff-Heft(topics-folder) gives suggestions.
This way the inhibition threshold that may exist in the anonymity of the city which stops strangers from talking to strangers can be eliminated because sitting on this bench signals that someone would like to talk, and one will only sit down too when one also wants to talk.
The Plauderbank can be placed anywhere but should be placed in public spaces which are higher frequented to get people to see others sitting and willing to talk and to sit down next to them.
The park bench “Schönbrunn” has been produced for a very long time by different manufacturers with little deviations now and is to find very often in Vienna and even in whole Austria. When the planks are painted e. g. red, the Plauderbänke can also be distinguished by color but still have the look of the traditional benches and fit in the space. The size of the bench is chosen regarding to safety distance in times of health risk but can easily be adapted before construction with the length of the planks.
Furthermore, other already existing benches can be painted in the colors of the Plauderbank, there can be added a lettering which says “Plauderbank” and a Gesprächsstoff-Heft like there is with the new Plauderbank.
People will sit closer together and there will be no armrests to separate them. But this should be no problem and even a good idea to create socializing spaces all around the city after the pandemic.
E. g. the Viennese craft business (W. Drab - Alt Wiener Gusswaren) manufactures these benches in any color and size. The cost of one new Plauderbank is about 1900€, the production would take about 2 months and the bench would be delivered as a construction set. Only the Gesprächsstoff-Heft needs to be added.
If small-talk about the weather, stories about life, lively debates or whatever the topic and whoever the people that are sitting on a Plauderbank might be – this talks will for sure be an experience and maybe out of these loose contacts also new acquaintances can be made.