Mateusz Herczka

Enhanced Benches

Furniture made active with biochemistry

Mateusz Herczka proposes a new line of furniture for the homes, outdoors, public spaces and institutions.


Night Garden Bench 01 at Mediamatic - A prototype of Bench 01 is on display at Mediamatic (NL) in the Night Garden & Micro-Green Restaurant exhibition. A prototype of Bench 01 by Mateusz Herczka A prototype of Bench 01 is on display at Mediamatic (NL) between November 3rd and December 16th 2006, along with a Powerpoint presentation. Mateusz Herczka


The Enhanced Benches proposals enhance the experience of "furniture". Olfactory science meets modern plastics - Enhanced Benches are elegant designer objects actively effecting their environment with encapsulated biochemistry.

Furniture is a special class of objects, a context-dependent homunculus morphing between design, fine art, and function. It has access to everymans home, royal residencies and the public spaces. A piece of furniture is the ideal candidate for biochemical enhancements, as an art object or a novel function.

By making the benches from plastic, exciting and futuristic designs are possible.

The main invention lies in a new kind of plastic which encapsulates and emits fragrance or other chemical compounds for around 20 years.

The benches are designed and molded entirely from this material. Consequently each bench constantly emits an inherent fragrance for around 20 years. This chemical emission is tailored to a specific desired effect, to subtly manipulate people, animals and insects in the immediate surroundings.


Bench 01 emits a mixture of fragrance and human hormones which enhances social interaction. The fact that fragrances influence mood is well known and used in shopping centers and similar venues. For instance, the scent of cinnamon buns is shown to increase a man’s predisposition towards women. Human hormones such as alpha and beta androstenol are currently suspected to influence social behaviour. The right mix of fragrances and hormones mildly enhance social contact like a glass of wine. Bench 01 is a piece of social furniture to enhance the living room, the restaurant or the park.

Bench 02 affects the menstrual cycles of women. Two human pheromones exist which either accelerate the cycle, or slow it down. This is a well known phenomenon which synchronizes the cycles of women spending a lot of time together. Bench 02 makes a complementing pair, one for “sooner", the other for “later". The benches can be placed in public spaces or institutions, and allow women enhanced control of their cycles simply by sitting for a while.

Bench 03 attracts butterflies. Pheromones are proven to directly influence insect behaviour, and are responsible for mating, navigation, swarming, attraction and many other behaviours. During winter, this bench functions as normal furniture in your home. During butterfly season in the summer, move it outside. In butterfly-rich areas, the butterflies soon start flocking around the bench. Where butterflies are scarce, Bench 03 increases the chances of seeing them. Sit on the bench and let yourself be surrounded by butterflies for a beautiful and romantic experience.

Lectern 03 applies the functionality of Bench 03. This is a lectern which attracts butterflies. By surrounding the speaker with butterflies, any speech or lecture is enhanced. Suitable for politics, religion, burials, weddings, any occasion which requires engaging, beautiful speeches.

Project Status

A prototype of Bench 01 along with a powerpoint presentation is on display at Mediamatic (NL) in the Night Garden & Micro-Green Restaurant exhibition.