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.

Ever imagined transposing your living room into the public space? Well, they've done it on Place Jean Jaurès - with a bench that corresponds to your sofa, 2 seats that correspond to your armchairs and a coffee table. All that's missing is the television and the games console... plus this is in the open-air, on one of the busiest squares in Saint-Étienne.

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