One day as part of a street setup downtown with the West Coast Hug Emporium, we created an area where we could safely perform some of our more elaborate hugs. We placed 4 traffic cones to create a square and wrote HUG ZONE on each side facing out.
What we didn’t expect was people stopping, not interacting with us, but rather taking the person they were walking with into the “Hug Zone” and giving them a hug. What we witnessed was a moment that the words hug zone had inspired in passerbys.
We were curious, what if we tried to make the Hug Zone more artistic, more legible and placed them in places and then left. What would happen? We recorded 24 hours of footage from a Hug Zone to find out. We were blowed away when we watched the interactions that happened at this Hug Zone, simply being inspired by the space and the words. We even discovered that regular hug zones in one location actually made people expect the Hug Zone or even use the space as a Hug Zone even when the chalk had washed away.
Now, we go around the city and place Hug Zones wherever we want, usually asking the local businesses if they mind first.
The Hug Zone Project is open source. We encourage you to create your own Hug Zone in your neighbourhood. All it takes is some sidewalk chalk. Create more hugs in the world with a little bit of interactive art.