Sidewalk Symposium

Sidewalk Symposium

Proposal/Official document

What do people stop for and how can you convince them to stop for something else? Urbanites are constantly commuting, only pausing to pay for something or to get to someplace else. Strangers pass by on the way, little more than glimpses.

Ann Arbor immigrants are asked to step out of the bounds of their everyday routines and comfort zones to engage in a personal conversation about boundaries they’ve crossed. These street conversations with complete strangers are held over cups of “free” coffee. The action of stepping out of routine elicits an alternative sense of occupying the street.

The story’s incentive is arbitrary, the questions asked are customizable, but the exchange is quintessential. They key is to change how people react to, use, and feel about exchange on a daily basis. So grab a corner and stop a stranger; maybe you’ll learn something new.


Ayesha Husain, Luke Semo, Dianne Osborn

Location: Ann Arbor, MI