Ah but in Saint-Étienne, benches are not just for sitting on. The Bancs d’Essai (Test Benches) scheme offers more curious passers-by the chance to take part in a life-size test. They – you – can try out the latest in urban furniture created by artists and designers from all over the world.

The sun chair, the gravity chair and the star chair... you can sit and contemplate the stars, but not only that... it's up to you to make what you will of this mini-galaxy.

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