On Hamburger Square, Samara Smith, New York, NY
digital audio and website

On Hamburger Square is a site-specific multimedia documentary tour of downtown Greensboro’s main crossroad at Hamburger Square that considers the square’s unique history and development through community interviews. Augmented reality links chapters of the narrative to objects in the square such as signs, buildings and monuments. Participants explore the square using a map and a mobile device. When they find and frame the decals with their screen, an audio montage related to that object plays. In this way, the project mixes scavenger hunt play and documentary inquiry, to invite the audience to explore the square while thinking about the history and communities that intersect there. Themes presented by the narrative include: the history of the railroad in Greensboro and its impact on the development of the city; how the physical infrastructure of the crossroads relates to the economic and social evolution patterns of American cities, as well as the square’s relationship to historical events from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Era and beyond.

After downloading an augmented reality app, participants explore the square using a map to find nine objects in Hamburger Square. After locating an object, such as a park bench, monument, sign, or building, they frame it with their mobile screen to trigger an audio montage. Each object references a different period or theme, exploring the historical and current use and meaning of this public space.

On Hamburger Square is part of Elsewhere’s South Elm Projects. Funded by ArtPlace America, South Elm Projects brought 15 national artists and collectives together with neighbors to create public artworks and programming in alleyways and greenspaces in the South Elm neighborhood of downtown Greensboro, North Carolina. The projects aim to further civic engagement, public commons and urban wilds in advance of and with development.


On Hamburger Square is an interactive audio documentary exploring the history and character of Hamburger Square, Greensboro’s first town square. To experience the tour in Greensboro, NC, please see the Instructions tab for more information. To listen online, explore the map below.



Community Participants

Community Participants

Irving Allen, Beloved Community Center

Gary Brame, Jules Antiques

Benjamin Briggs, Preservation Greensboro

Linda Evans, Greensboro Historical Museum

Judith Kastner, Preservation Greensboro

Alyzza May, Community Activist

Sijal Nasralla, Community Activist

Robert Powell, A&T State University

George Scheer, Elsewhere

Jim Schlosser, Journalist

Cortni Quarles, Historian