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Phytobench is a seating element that grows phyto-remediative plant communities that repair damaged soil ecosystems and create green public space.

A bench that gives you a rest AND helps the earth?!! YES! We think outdoor seating should do more than look good and provide a place to sit. We think it can actually improve the environment it's in too! That's the idea behind Phytobench, a seating element that grows phyto-remediative plants capable of cleaning soil while simultaneously creating infrastructure for beautiful public space.

Phytobench works by using a composite of various recycled materials embedded with plant seeds to grow plants that spread across a soil landscape. The plants Phytobench grows aren't like most plants, they're "hyper-accumulators." They possess resistivity to toxicity in the soil caused by the presence of heavy metals, chemicals or pollutants from things like pesticides, and other industrial processes. Growing in the soil, they "bio-accumulate" pollutants or render them inert within the soil through chemical transformations. The plants can even be mined to re-purpose the chemicals they absorbed!

To initiate the process, we place Phyotbench on a site anywhere from a public park to an open brownfield, to a golf course, and even your own backyard or rooftop garden. A series of porous components allow rainfall and plantlife to penetrate the interstitial air space within the bench. On an array of “teeth” forming the bottom surfaces of the components, the replaceable seed-embedded composite is attached. During heavy rains, central channels at the heart of each component collect water The water is funneled down to the seed-embedded composite. Fed by water and the nutrients within the composite, seedlings germinate, the composite substrate eventually dissolves, the bench anchors in the soil, and the seedlings grow into volunteers that spread out and repair the surrounding soil. The beauty of Phytobench is that it can also be used to beautify any outdoor space through growing plants and flowers. So even if you don't have soil to repair, you can use Phytobench as a greener, more colorful alternative to typical outdoor seating.

To get Phytobench out into the world repairing soil and making green outdoor spaces, we need your help. With your donations, we will develop and construct our very first Phytobench prototypes which we plan to test and publicly exhibit. AND we have some awesome rewards for you in return - each one is cumulative so the more you pledge, the bigger piece of Phytobench you get! We will use the funds to pay for material, research, and manufacturing costs as we turn computer renderings into real working prototypes. If we're successful, we will take the prototypes on a grand tour of trade shows, fairs, and public exhibits around the world. Help us spread the word about Phytobench and make our cities greener!

Check out Phytobench, a NextGen Notable, in the July/August Issue of Metropolis Magazine!
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  • Pledge $5 or more
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    5 backers

    Contributor - Get an individual, named thank you on our website and a 4x6 Phytobench thank-you postcard mailed to you after it's exhibited at the Phytobench launch.

  • Pledge $10 or more
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    4 backers

    Friend - Get an individual named, thank you and a link to YOUR website on our website, plus a 6x11 signed Phytobench postcard mailed to you after it's exhibited at the Phytobench launch.

  • Pledge $20 or more
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    7 backers

    Companion - Get all of the above, PLUS a Phytobench-shaped lasercut seed paper engraved with your name that you can plant and grow at home!

  • Pledge $75 or more
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    1 backer

    Partner - All of the above PLUS an I ♥ Phyto American Apparel T-shirt (S-M-L)

  • Pledge $200 or more
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    0 backers

    Lover - All of the above PLUS an I ♥ Phyto American Apparel fleece track jacket (S-M-L). AND your name and/or business name will be carved into the Phytobench prototypes for eternity!

  • Pledge $500 or more
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    1 backer Limited (4 left of 5)

    Sponsor - All of the above PLUS your very own 3D-printed Phytobench model AND your name and/or business name will be banner printed/projected and featured at all Phytobench public exhibitions.

  • Pledge $2,500 or more
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    0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)

    Angel - All of the above, PLUS your very own custom-made Phytobench to be used for remediating your city's public space or even your very own backyard.

Funding period

- (45 days)