It’s always a challenge to design a good table/bench/chair. There are so many ways to design the joinery, but, no matter how you do it, it can never be perfect. You either want some sides to be strong at the expense of the others.
Anyway, this Japanese Garden Bench was done. It made entirely from 1x3s without any nails or screws. This should be fine, at least theoretically, because they say the glue joints are stronger than the wood itself. So, let’s put some trust on it.