Hammond decided to try an experiment: place 100 movable park chairs on the open space along the Tiber River and see what happens. One of the hallmarks of successful urban spaces all over the world, from Bryant Park in New York City to Luxembourg Gardens in Paris, is the use of movable chairs. For several weeks, Hammond will experiment with chair placement and document, through time-lapse photo and video, how people interact and use them.
William Whyte’s studies in The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces were an inspiration to Hammond. Whyte found that one of the most successful tools in creating vibrant spaces was the use of movable chairs. One of his most memorable findings is that people create ownership of public space by being able to control where and how they sit in the urban environment. Hammond and Bielawa propose to combine Whyte’s methods with artistic programming that is also specifically designed to break down the conventions of concert music: assigned seats in fixed rows, performers on defined stage spaces, paid admission, and fixed, ritual attention.