Don’t know Mikado? Well another reference is the building-block game Kapla or Jenga but instead of measuring centimeters, think more in metres. A gigantic version of a building-block game and one which you can recline on.
Mikado’s. That’s the nickname given to a series of block-sized seating spaces created by architects of Franklin Azzi Architecture and which have begun to pop up in Paris’ public spaces. They’re the equivalent of the humble bench and take their name because they look like the game Mikado.
These Mikado seating spaces or stations are composed using heavy machinery around the city, which levers the heavy blocks into position. Depending on its location, which include Place de la Bastille and Place de la Republique, each station is composed in configurations ranging between 5 to 20 blocks. The outcome is that each composition is unique, some looking like a set of steps, or simply a series of tetris levels. Think bench, but a gamified version!
So, the invitation is to try them out and improvise a posture and go with it. Maybe that’s sitting, leaning, lying-down. When I went along to do a spot of people watching one day, I caught sight of some of these improvised moves (or I might say, stationaries), haha! So as I have, maybe you’ll spot the inline-skater, crouched, knees high, engrossed reading a novel; or girlfriends, improvising their Mikado as a tabletop, for an equally improvised picnic.
Thanks to Wilfrid Duval from Urbaparis for posing, who makes urban reportage in French.