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Rest in public space

Investigating public space as a place for rest in hectic, stressful cities


RestRest in public space highlights the value of restorative public spaces by examining cultural attitudes towards public rest, alongside a diverse range of personal tactics that people use to elicit a sense of calm or rest at an emotional and sensory level. This project developed a body of qualitative research exploring different first-person approaches and requirements for resting in public space, which informed the production of an interactive artwork of ‘sensory sculpture’. The ultimate goal is to better understand the embodied, emotional and cultural dimensions of public rest as a means of developing working parameters for future public space design.


Project film



Project team                                                                               

Anne Frobeen is a UK based designer and artist. Her work is motivated by a desire to make the routines of everyday life a little easier and more joyful. In 2013 she established a behavioural research lab for Samsung’s product innovation team with a focus on reimagining the contribution of technology to the built environment. She currently runs her own consultancy and is working with a number of clients to develop behavioural strategies for healthier cities.
Follow Anne on Twitter here

Dr Luke Dickens is a Lecturer in Urban Futures at the Department of Geography, King’s College London. He specialises in the cultural politics of urban change, focusing in particular on the experiences of children and young people. Luke uses participatory and narrative research techniques to explore the ways that urban transformations impact on senses of place, belonging, identity and citizenship.
Follow Luke on Twitter here

Rest in Public Space is a collaboration between King’s College London’s Department of Geography and Makerversity resident Anne Frobeen, supported by the university's Culture team in partnership with Somerset House Studios.

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Part of the Arts in Society Innovation Scheme