Have a Seat

Have a Seat

Have a Seat

Have-A-Seat is an interactive art installation addressing the issue of the need for personal space and public territory in public space.

Even in the most public spaces people have the need for private space. Unaware they create a distance between themselves and others. Have-A-Seat enlarges this behavioral pattern between strangers.

  • Self initiated

Have-A-Seat is an interactive art installation addressing the issue of the need for personal space and public territory in public space.

Even in the most public spaces people have the need for private space. Unaware they create a distance between themselves and others. Have-A-Seat enlarges this behavioral pattern between strangers.

Have-A-Seat is a seemingly normal sofa that deals with the behavioral patterns that arise when people in a public space try to create some personal space around them. Have-A-Seat emphasizes these behaviors by enlarging the natural reaction of persons when two strangers sit down next to each other. At the same time the installation gives the users their desired personal space and so raising awareness of this unconscious desire of the users.

Have-A-Seat makes the participant and the viewer aware of the fact that two strangers are almost always looking for a distance between them. The sofa confronts the persons with their unconscious need and fulfills it at the same time. As soon as there are two persons sitting on the sofa the sofa ‘breaks’ apart and the two seats ride away from each other. As soon as one person leaves the sofa the two seats will come together and again form a seemingly normal sofa.

Have-A-Seat deals with the interactions between strangers in public space for a purpose of having a rest on a seat for a limited amount of time. This falls into the personal spacing between strangers in a non-conversational situation, typically requiring 50 centimeters of personal space in between individuals. The cultural norms employed in the installation are those of North-western Europe. The applicable concepts of proximity for this project are personal distance between strangers (personal space) and public territory (territory behavior).


Have-A-Seat is created by Michiel Stade and Sylvain Vriens within the context of the 2nd semester project assignment of the masters programme Mediatechnology (Leiden University, The Netherlands).

More information is available in our paper, which is available on request.

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