Have a seat

Have a Seat, by Caroline Woolard, is one of my favourite projects at Conflux.

Have a Seat is a very simple and generous gesture towards reclaiming public space in Williamsburg (Brooklyn). During the night the artist affixed a dozen “seatsâ€? to the “no parking” and “stop” sign posts implanted in the sidewalk (map of the seats).

0haveseat.jpg0seathaveit.jpgIn the city, the street should be a destination in itself. Many people use the street to get from one place to another, but it is an invaluable arena for immediate interaction. Instead of walking to a park or other zone calculated for relaxation, Have a Seat serves those people who want to pause amidst action for a direct perspective on the momentum of the city. The seat is a signal at the scale of the human body in a city of buildings that consume space and light at the expense of pedestrians who are swept forward by wind tunnels in the shadow of skyscrapers. Unlike monuments that overpower people in scale and pretension, these wooden chairs wait to be used by a single body on the street.

Caroline explained me the other night that she had installed such seats in other neighbourhood over the past few years. They are not “legal”, yet it takes usually 6 months before the authorities decide that the seats have to be removed. In a past experiment, she had installed seat at high levels, you had to climb steps to reach the seat and get an overview of the street, these seats were rather quickly damaged but low seats, like the one she installed in Brooklyn for Conflux, seem to be appreciated and respected by passersby.

Check also her removable chair for subway.