Battery Park faces Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, and it sits only a few blocks down from the 9/11 memorial. It might well be called “America Park” due to the amount of cultural significance in full view. That tip of Manhattan was part of the doorway that so many hopeful immigrants passed through years ago in search of a better life. As they entered a new country of freedom and opportunity, they were writing a new chapter in their life stories as well as in our collective history.
In designing these chairs specifically for Battery Park, the need to provide easily movable and stackable seating for visitors was paramount. We also wanted to give the visitor an experience that went deeper than mere sitting. We wanted to connect the participant to the significance of the place. Every chair is designed to tell a story. Laser etched into each chair is a brief story and a QR code to take one deeper. Each chair is a portal into an inspirational story from both past and present immigrants to be displayed on a new compelling website.
A visitor to the park would grab a chair, capture the QR code with their mobile device (or search the story by number), and sit in the park listening to an inspiring story from another person’s life. Each trip to the park now provides a new experience of discovery and insight into New York, the United States of America, and our shared culture.
The chair is not just a chair, but a doorway into a new experience — just like Battery Park was the doorway to a new land to so many people not so long ago.