The Camden Bench: A Perfect Anti-Object


This gray lump of sculpted concrete is invented to resist almost everything that it might come into contact with. Named after the London authority that commissioned it, the Camden Bench has a special coating which makes it resistant to graffiti and vandalism. The featureless surface gives criminals nowhere to hide their secret caches. The angled sides repel skateboarders, litter and rain. The cambered top throws off rough sleepers. In fact, it is specially crafted to make sure that it is not used as anything except a bench.


This makes it a strange artifact, defined far more by what it is not than what it is. The Camden Bench is a concerted effort to create a non-object. It is a bench by the slimmest of margins — hardly comfortable, affording none of the qualities that would make it more than simply a place to sit.


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