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Saigon's Instant Street Furniture

Public space in Saigon can be easily understood as an endless source of spontaneous, if not random, design solutions.

Concrete bricks or small wooden boards may seem like abandoned objects, but more often than not, they represent basic, utilitarian pieces of furniture for sidewalk cafes and eateries.

Depending on the situation, the furniture may vary. At its most basic level, a piece of cardboard atop a concrete ledge will suffice, but then you have your mainstream plastic stools, wooden benches and lawn chairs. There are also extremes on each end – hammocks for those who can take a nap amid the roar of traffic and, in a pinch, the famous squat position where your body, in effect, becomes a piece of furniture.

While there are plenty of mass-produced pieces occupying space on the city’s streets, some of the most impressive specimens are DIY pieces sometimes challenging the laws of physics.

Some seating solutions can act as signals. For instance, spotting a row of striped lawn chairs indicates there’s a good chance that a glass of cà phê sữa đá or a refreshing sinh tố is in your future.

It would be easy to describe what a Saigonese has been doing all day by simply cataloging the various seats they have been occupying.

The diversity is such that if one were to take on a more academic approach, they could put together a unique design catalogue of Saigon’s urban furniture.

Landscape Jardins is a company with more than 30 years of experience in exterior design settled in Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City) and Brazil (Rio de Janeiro – Rio Grande do Sul). Our projects explore the relation between men and nature. Public parks, private gardens, urban developments, condominiums, resorts, etc.: the combination of passion and know-how is our key to achieve innovation and excellence.

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