Humanizing Transit with “Theory”

Like a “theory” bridges the worlds of the rational and the abstract, Theory transit furnishings by Landscape Forms merge familiar, utilitarian elements with open-ended, artful design to humanize the transit experience and give people the freedom to choose how they interact with their environment.

“Our entire human-made world often feels like a series of built rules. Because of this, I think people appreciate things that are more open to unique, personal interpretation—it invites a sense of playfulness, creativity, and discovery,” describes Theory’s designer, Scott Klinker. “Theory was created to span this spectrum of prescriptive and non-prescriptive design in a way that functions intuitively, yet also opens up new possibilities and favors the opportunity for choice.”

The line’s seating concept centers around the idea of “the beam.” Building out from this simple structural component is a line of elements that are aesthetically compatible yet each uniquely expressive in functional and visual impact. The Theory shelter is refined, visually light and clear in its purpose. On each structure, an angled aluminum beam raises two shelter panels, one seemingly floating at the rear of the structure and one cantilevered overhead to create an airy and uncluttered interior. At the apex of each vertical beam, a powerful LED casts a pool of light downward to create a sense of comfort and security. Theory shelters are scalable and can join together in up to groups of four to adapt to transit systems as they grow and evolve.

Theory’s design centers around the idea of ‘the beam,’ using the simplicity of this humble structural component to create a system of transit site elements that can functionally adapt to a variety of contexts, are aesthetically cohesive, and yet are each artfully expressive in their visual impact.

The group of street furnishings is designed to easily scale as transit systems grow and evolve, with shelters and seating being both modular and adaptable to accommodate future changes. Together, its elements have a strong graphic quality—blocky, iconic and colorful shapes that are still formally minimal and simplified to fit into different architectural contexts.

And by offering a variety of settings within a single installation, Theory welcomes the different modes in which people interact with transit systems. Individuals, groups of friends, parents with children, commuters focused on productivity, or people in need of a quick meal can all find their ideal position within an installation.

Learn more about Theory from Landscape Forms at

Landscape Forms is a proud WLA Sponsor

About Damian Holmes 3223 Articles
Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at