In today’s hyper-connected world, embracing random encounters with strangers is rare. This year’s IDEA award winner, in Environments, 2ToTango solves this by creating observational and social interaction opportunities for passersby with an aluminum teeter-totter style bench. With its various modes, the bench inspires play in all of us. 2ToTango contains different stages which range from simply observing it, to sitting on it and experiencing cooperative, dominating, and/or engaged interactions with others. When a person sits on the left or right side of the bench, that respective side lowers slowly. When they leave, the bench returns to a horizontal position. If two or more people sit on both sides at the same time, the bench teeter-totters in relation to where they sit and where they might move, depending upon whether and how they choose to interact with each other. In essence, it’s a beautiful tango.

2ToTango is envisioned to be installed in public places, with museum environments and gardens being the most likely setting. Its triangular cross section twists 180 degrees from the left and right sides, which provide flat top surfaces for seating, to a sharp edge in the bottom center of the two middle segments to create a visual fulcrum.