The Design Trust for Public Space and Times Square Arts have selected Aranda\Lasch + Marcelo Coelho as winners of the 2018 Times Square Valentine Heart Design competition, an annual event that brings a love-themed sculpture to the Crossroads of the World.
This year’s installation, Window to the Heart, leverages 3D printing to capture the Instagram zeitgeist. The project team collaborated with Formlabs to design a 12-foot-wide 3D-printed Fresnel lens to collect and morph Times Square’s lights through a central, heart-shaped aperture. Each segment will be printed using transparent resin in lieu of glass, a material reflection on the changing nature of image capture and dissemination. Laufs Engineering Design – LED is providing structural engineering services for the project.
Aranda\Lasch is a New York– and Tucson, Arizona–based design and architecture studio directed by Benjamin Aranda, Chris Lasch and Joaquin Bonifaz. The firm’s Exhibit Columbus installation, Another Circle, dropped over 1,000 pieces of salvaged Indiana limestone into a city park to create Stonehenge-like spaces for conversation, theater, and relaxation. Lasch teaches at the School of Architecture at Taliesin, and Aranda teaches at Cooper Union. The other team member, Marcelo Coelho, is a computation designer who lectures at MIT’s Department of Architecture and serves as Head of Design at Formlabs. His recent work includes an audiovisual installation for the 2016 Paralympics, as well as Sandcastles, a project with artist Vik Muniz that used old and new photographic techniques to etch images onto grains of sand.
“Times Square is a symbol for how we experience our world,” Aranda\Lasch + Marcelo Coelho said, in a prepared statement. “ It is a physical manifestation of our culture, one dispersed and absorbed through cameras and screens. And in this culture, to fall in love you must first fall through a lens.” Siq!
By some metrics, Times Square is one of the most Instagrammed spots in the world. And yes, the installation can be tracked on social media with its very own hashtag, #WindowHeartTSq.
Times Square Arts, the public art division of the Times Square Alliance, collaborated with The Design Trust for Public Space, this year’s curator, to pick seven firms to submit installation proposals around the theme “labor of love.” Proposals from Jaklitsch/Gardner Architects, office iii, Studio Cadena, StudioKCA, studioSUMO, Taller KEN, and the winning team were reviewed by artists, architects, landscape architects, and city officials.
Planning a visit? The installation will be up near the TKTS booth at Father Duffy Square, between 46th and 47th Streets, from February 1 through the end of the month, with a official unveiling scheduled for 11 a.m. on opening day. More information on Window to the Heart can be found on Times Square Arts’ website.