Steve Shaheen gathered 5,000 discarded NYC Metrocards through a Craigslist posting, and created this amazing “Metrobench” that is actually structurally sound (ie, it can hold up your weight). He paid Craigslisters 50 cents for every card, and ended up with a flood of responses and 5,000 cards within a week. Via Curbed:

“Metrobench is a conceptually-driven sculptural seating element using recycled materials (New York City Metrocards). I was inspired to use these discarded objects–at once very personal and expendable–in a way that reflects the manner in which mass transit joins many diverse lives into a single moment or path together.

The Metrocard represents movement for people; Metrobench is a point of rest for people. Millions of New Yorkers, with their separate lives, are brought together on the transit system every day. In this sculptural seat, each card, with its distinct and intimate history is stitched together into a fluid tapestry.

There is something very personal about handling so many small belongings that were once riding around in peoples’ pockets. There are untold personal stories in that inconspicuous, flimsy plastic.”

I’ve racked up my share of leftover Metrocards, but I’ve never thought that they would be good for anything other than tourist memorabilia (or a sad reminder of my expensive commute). I’m glad that he went a step further and made something that looks aesthetically interesting from a distance and close up– there’s a pleasing rhythm to the pattern of the Metrocards on the bench. [Via the Gothamist.]

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