Pettersen & Hein have created a series of concrete benches that interact with Columbus’ unique design history and physical setting in their expression, colors, function, and material. PAUSE is a series of spatial sculptures, which at once call for a meeting, a break, and the start of a dialogue. Dialogue is also the starting point for the design, which relates directly to Alexander Girard's original 1964 streetscape color scheme for Washington Street — a hallmark of the street. Many of the buildings have since been repainted, making PAUSE an ode to Girard's innovative color codes.


Pettersen & Hein is a collaboration between Danish furniture designer Lea Hein and Norwegian artist Magnus Pettersen. Their work challenges the fine line between art and design. Their use of materials invites viewers to question the aesthetic definition of art and design. Some objects invite for different ways of living and using a space by paying homage to materials, color and form rather than functional use, thereby taking on a clear unique, bold position, the end-result often being intriguing and extraordinary.

Fabrication Sponsors

Shelby Materials
Noblitt Fabricating

Selected by

Etage Projects is a Copenhagen-based art and design gallery founded in 2013 by Maria Foerlev. Etage Projects specializes in a cross-aesthetic method that actively questions and pushes the lines between art and design, abstraction, and function. Seeking to extend and to enrich the field of interdisciplinary and collective culture, the gallery works with creatives who form their praxis in-between established notions of contemporary art and design.

Material and Fabrication

Magnus Pettersen and Lea Hein brought their young family to live in Columbus for a month while they worked at Shelby Materials to fabricate PAUSE. They used the same steel mold, shipped from their studio in Denmark, to form each bench one by one. They adapted the mold for each unique bench by gluing in plastic tubing to create voids for the steel tubes, bent into complex 3D shapes by Noblitt Fabricating, that tie pairs of benches together. Each workday, they mixed small batches of colored concrete and began filling the mold, carefully trowelling in patches of contrasting colors. Rebar u-shapes were embedded in the base of the bench to form temporary handles so a Shelby forklift could pull it from the mold after curing overnight, and then the process began again. The benches’ “legs” were designed with installation in mind, so each 600 pound bench could be lifted into place using a forklift and pallet straps.

Super excited to come work in Columbus – this place seems magical!

Pettersen & Hein