When I was studying sculpture at the Icelandic college of Arts, we were invited to participate in an international design competition, Design for architecture, bench for Jyväskylä, to be presented in the summer of 1997 in the park of the Alvar Aalto museum in Jyväskylä, Finland.
Thorgerdur Jörundsdottir and I decided to collaborate on a prototype bench that would be possible to make as a series production and yet be different from benches in other cities. We wanted to be like a spacecraft that haphazardly had landed in the park and that it would affirm meetings between strangers. The construction makes it possible to seat different groups on the same bench, or lean over the backrest and speak to others.
First Encounter is made from sand cast aluminium and glazed, weather proofed plywood. The inner edge of the seat facing the aluminium structure has been coated with a fluorescent paint, giving the bench a mysterious soft glow at twilight.