An Invitation To Take A Seat

Ann McClure's picture

The chairs are bright. It is something everyone comments on.

When they first arrived a few years ago as an experiment in changing Harvard Yard as a public space, one of the first things people pointed out was how they did not look very Harvard. Mostly, people said this in a good way.

There were a couple hundred of them in lollipop-colored aluminum - yellow and orange and red and neon green - light and untethered, available for whatever. They appeared after a committee charged with improving the social spaces on campus thought one way to soften the feel of the Yard was to introduce a very simple tool: the chair.

“People felt that there was no invitation to linger at Harvard Yard, and the message of the structures was just ‘Head along the walkways to your destination,’ ’’ said Harvard’s president, Drew Faust. “They were meant to say that Harvard Yard isn’t a place you have to rush through.’’

Read more