It’s this spirit that inspired the Battery’s current design competition, Draw Up a Chair, which invites designers to submit ideas for movable seating. Along with a $10,000 prize, the winning chair design will be fabricated and installed throughout the Battery in 2014 after the completion of a renovation.Movable chairs, though, mean the chairs can indeed be moved – sometimes out of a park and, for example, into someone’s apartment or backyard.
“In municipalities there’s the sense that if it’s not bolted down, it will move beyond the park landscape. Well, we see all over the city those little foldup chairs and they’re not bolted down, they’re not even chained,” Price says, referring to the chairs added to pedestrianized plazas and street corners in Manhattan, such as Times Square. “They’re on all the intersections throughout the whole Manhattan landscape right now and they don’t seem to be walking away.”
“I just refuse to let [the possibility of theft] be the guiding force to deter us from trying,” she says, adding that RFID chips will be installed in the furniture to help prevent theft, or at least track wayward chairs down when they’re moved too far away.
“And so far, designers seem to support the idea. The deadline for submissions is at the end of the month, but Price says she’s already received submissions from all over the Western hemisphere.
Price says the idea behind the competition is both to create an opportunity for designers to see their work actually built and installed in a real-world setting, but also to encourage other cities to think about better ways to serve their populations through good design in public spaces…”