Brooklyn-based firm MODU with Eric Forman Studio is the winner of the 2020 Times Square Valentine Heart Design competition, hosted annually by Times Square Arts. Heart Squared is a steel-frame sculpture designed to suggest the form of an anatomical heart. Set in the heart are 125 mirrors each revealing fragments of Times Square like individual pixels. Hardly random, each mirror is positioned according to a design generated with custom software. While seemingly "kaleidoscopic" in effect, from a single vantage point the mirrored heart will coalesce into a cohesive reflection of the urban world around it. "Heart Squared represents the collective heart of the city and as such, is an engaging civic statement about celebrating our differences and bringing people together in a fundamentally inclusive way," said MODU in a press release. Eric Forman Studio added that the firms are "using the magic of mirrors and light to remix the urban spectacle into something unexpected." This is the 12th iteration of the Valentine Heart Design competition and this year it is organized in partnership with the Cooper Hewitt. Previous winners have included Reddymade, Aranda\Lasch with Marcelo Coelho, and Bjarke Ingels Group. Heart Squared will be officially unveiled on January 30th and remain on view for the duration of February.
Posts tagged with "Times Square Alliance":
New York’s Times Square plaza will be transformed by designers Brad Ascalon, Joe Doucet, Louis Lim, DYAD and Hive Public Space this May. Organized by the Times Square Alliance, the designers’ solutions rethink the street furniture of one of the world’s most visible public spaces. The collection includes conceptual designs for seating, signage, and book display. Furniture designer Brad Ascalon designs an "island" that incorporates planters, seating and storage. Product designer Joe Doucet envisions colorful pods that organize the interactions of people in the public space. Urban design and placemaking consultancy Hive Public Space combines a bookcase with a bench, echoing the Strand Bookstore nearby. DYAD, led by designer Douglas Fanning, formulates an eye-catching sign holder resembling a kick-boxing stand, and Louis Lim designs a teardrop-shaped, touch-responsive signage system. “Times Square asked great New York City designers to build on permanent transformations such as the red steps and the pedestrian plazas, and temporary transformations through design and public art,” said Tim Tompkins, President of the Times Square Alliance, and the organizer of local events. The pieces will be revealed on the plaza together with the opening of the Design Pavilion during NYCxDesign. They are curated by Times Square Design Lab (TSqDL), which is a collaboration between 6¢ Design, a think tank led by Principal Victoria Milne, and the Times Square Alliance. NYCxDesign is an annual event that celebrates local and worldwide design talents and will take place between May 11 and 23 this year.
When architects Aranda\Lasch and computational designer Marcelo Coelho were planning their entry to the Times Square Alliance and Design Trust for Public Space’s 10th Annual Times Square Valentine Heart Design Competition, they took a trip to the area. After observing thousands of visitors taking nonstop snapshots and selfies, it became clear that they would create an homage to screens, lenses, and our image-saturated society. The result was Window to the Heart, aka The Lens, a round, heart-centered sculpture that graced the north end of Times Square (between 46th and 47th Streets) throughout February. With The Lens, Aranda\Lasch and Coelho not only alluded to the area’s self-referential environment, but they created the world’s largest Fresnel lens—the flattened, ridged lenses you often see in lighthouses that recreate the effect of a much larger lens—measuring 12 feet, 2 inches in diameter, 10 feet tall, and weighing over two tons. “Look around,” said Benjamin Aranda at the sculpture’s opening. “Everyone’s taking pictures right now. It never stops.” His colleague Joaquin Bonifaz added: “To be in Times Square means you’re seeing or being seen through a lens.” How did they pull this off? In many stages, in many locations, with many partners: First the team modeled the project in Rhinoceros and Neon with Long Island City-based Laufs Engineering Design. Then, with Formlabs in Boston, they 3-D printed 1,090 sawtooth resin tiles, utilizing Form 2 printers, working in tandem, for two weeks. Then, together with Brooklyn-based Caliper Studio, they fabricated the tiles, which were back coated with silicon and attached in 98 concentric rings on top of a clear, flat acrylic core, which had been trucked in from Reynolds Polymer in Colorado. Caliper fabricated the structure’s massive steel base, and the composition was then attached to the base and carefully transported it, with Yonkers-based 24/7 lifting, to Times Square. The result was a mesmerizing piece, which abstracted, amplified, and bent the crazy, colorful lights and images of Times Square. The piece was best seen from afar, where clearer images related to ideal focal lengths. The piece’s central, cutout heart was a tough sell for the team, who, like most designers, are more interested in abstraction than literal forms. But the results spoke for themselves, as visitors lined up to take pictures of, and with the sculpture, most of them poking their heads through its heart. “People get it immediately,” Aranda said. “They’re capturing it, they’re filtering it, they’re sharing it.” Resources:
Marcelo Coelho cmarcelo.com
Laufs Engineering Design laufsed.com
Reynolds Polymer reynoldspolymer.com
Today is Valentine's Day, and what better place to celebrate than Times Square? (If you're already doubting my taste and/or sanity, suspend your cynicism for a moment, enjoy this placating 💖 emoji, and read on.) Each year, the Times Square Alliance invites emerging New York architects to deliver a heart-themed installation to the Crossroads of the World, and this year, its competition jury selected New York– and Tucson, Arizona–based Aranda\Lasch + Marcelo Coelho (head of design at Formlabs) to design Window to the Heart, a piece that doubles as the world's largest Fresnel lens and provides a nice public place to make googly eyes at your boo. Working with 3-D printing manufacturer Formlabs, Aranda\Lasch and Coelho printed each segment of the 12-foot-wide lens using clear resin in lieu of glass. The lens bends the light emanating from billboards and signage to give visitors an ideal selfie sphere, or a place to pick gunk from your teeth before smooching your paramour. According to the Times Square Alliance, which is throwing a fête at the installation today, three couples are using the space as a wedding venue, and three more are planning to propose to their partners. In honor of the heart-fest, AN Products Editor Gabrielle Golenda swooped into Times Square to talk Valentine's Day with couples standing near Window to the Heart: Among the visitors were DJ Drewski, host of a late-night program on New York's Hot 97, and his fiancée Sky Landish, a fitness model. The pair spoke with Golenda about their romantic sojourn: "I think it's beautiful," Landish said. She is clutching a resin panel that was printed onsite by Formlabs: The couple—who got engaged yesterday—said they plan to frame it along with a picture of themselves and hang it in their home. Cute! Planning a visit? The installation will be up near the TKTS booth at Father Duffy Square, between 46th and 47th Streets, through the end of the month. More information on Window to the Heart can be found on Times Square Arts’ website.
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. The 2018 season is the 10th anniversary of the competition: Last year, The Office for Creative Research installed a data-driven sculpture that explored migration and belonging in New York City.
From the Van Alen Institute:
Today we are pleased to announce with Times Square Alliance Crossroads Conversations, a public program series hosted at the base of the Red Steps in Times Square that invites passersby from all walks of life and political convictions to engage in thoughtful dialogue on some of the most pressing issues of our time in an iconic public space at “The Crossroads of the World.” The first event in the series will focus on immigration, and take place on Monday, March 20 from 6–7 PM. The program invites passersby to participate in 10-minute conversations with a fellow stranger facilitated by journalists at the base of the Red Steps, encouraging people from across the nation and around the globe to reveal multifaceted personal beliefs, provoke robust debate, and find common ground with those who may share differing viewpoints. A pilot Crossroads Conversations event was hosted in December 2016 in immediate response to the divisions evidenced following the 2016 national election. The pilot event fostered compelling discussions and unforeseen viewpoints, inspiring Van Alen Institute and Times Square Alliance to organize future events within a multi-month series hosted at the base of the Red Steps.More information about the event can be found here.
Van Alen to host public conversation on immigration between New Yorkers and visitors in Times Square
Compared to the online comments section—that domain of the keyboard warrior and the realm of dumb trolls—public, in-person conversations are still the gold standard for constructive dialogue, because it's harder to be rude to someone when you're staring right at them. That's why, to combat toxic discourse, the Van Alen Institute and Times Square Alliance are hosting a friendly discussion series on hot-button issues in the middle of New York's busiest public space. Crossroads Conversations pairs perfect strangers to talk—without animus—about the divisive topics that dominate the headlines. This evening, in front of the Red Steps in Times Square, New Yorkers and visitors passing through the "Crossroads of the World” will be matched up for one-on-one conversations about immigration, facilitated by journalists. Participants at tonight's discussion will be speaking with Quartz's design reporter Anne Quito and The Architect's Newspaper's very own associate editor, Audrey Wachs. Rather than digging into the nitty-gritty of the border wall RFP or Presidents Trump's travel ban, the 10-minute conversations are meant to reveal personal stories, inspire sharing, and find common ground within divergent viewpoints. Van Alen held a pilot Crossroads last December in response to the current political climate and the strong feelings it provokes on the Left and Right. Future conversations will center on health, sexuality, the environment, and infrastructure, and, to wrap up the series, Van Alen will aggregate key ideas from the conversations into “Word on the Street” reports that add another dimension to the issues of the day. Crossroads Conversations' first discussion runs tonight from 6–7 p.m. in front of the Red Steps. The talks are free and public—no RSVP required.
In Times Square, art and architecture converge during the last week of Collective–LOK's Heart of Hearts installation
Every winter, the Times Square Alliance and the Center for Architecture choose a team of architects to design an installation for Times Square that a) has to both dialogue and compete with the pageantry of Times Square and b) is heart-themed for Valentine's Day. AN visited this year's Times Square Valentine Heart Design competition winner, Collective-LOK's Heart of Hearts, during its final week to speak with the architects and an artist/composer duo who created an interactive sound and visual piece within the installation. Formally, Heart of Hearts is a circle of aluminum–paneled hearts planted in the center of Father Duffy Square, a public plaza between 45th and 47th streets at Seventh Avenue and Broadway. Joshue Ott and Kenneth Kirschner, Times Square Alliance artists-in-residence, installed variant:breaker, a one-day interactive audiovisual installation that used four LED arrays and speakers that plays on Heart of Hearts' reflectivity to create an outdoor theater of sound and light. The partnership came about when Ott and Kirschner met Collective–LOK at a party, and, like Heart of Hearts, variant:breaker had to both survive and outperform the chaos of Times Square. The installation, Kirschner explained, was inspired by his young son's enthusiasm for his drum machine. Users created a sequence of randomly generated sounds by manipulating an iPad in the middle of the installation to activate the LED panels. The video below shows how the installation performed in action: https://www.flickr.com/photos/136339520@N03/25298776750/in/dateposted-public/ Conceptually, the objective of Heart of Hearts was to "out Times Square Times Square," explained Michael Kubo, one of three members of Collective–LOK. The trio wanted to take the hilarious spectacle that is Times Square and reflect it back onto itself, while creating inviting spaces for the more intimate spectacle of the kiss-and-selfie. The architectural renderings that accompanied the rollout of the project depicted a wedding, the Naked Cowboy, the famous llama, and the other happenings that give Times Square its weirdness. It turns out that the renderings were predictive: on Valentine's Day, despite the chill, multiple weddings were staged in Heart of Hearts. The architects were keenly attuned to the project's second life online, positioning their installation as the critical interface between the inherent narcissism of the selfie and an acute awareness of one's surroundings. The results would make Guy Debord proud. "The reflection was used to both embrace the context and have the thing and the space defined strictly by the context, but also, making people even more aware of the 'selfie moment' that we knew happened anyway," fellow collective member Jon Lott explained. "We were thinking about selfies from the beginning of the project," Kubo noted. "We asked, 'How do you build something that's an apparatus for people to take pictures of themselves but then decontextualize themselves, or make the things around them seem different?'" To find out, this normally selfie-averse reporter cozied up to a heart for a snap: In reviewing the photos, it was uncanny to see the the fragments and reflections (those pink fists!) that accompanied my image. The image could hardly be called a selfie, as Times Square inserted itself as a subject from all angles. Although the installation commands attention in the physical and virtual worlds, it had to make a minimal impact on the plaza. Drilling into the ground was verboten, so Collective–LOK designed an installation that was self-supporting. To give the installation its necessary rigidity and weight, the segmented hearts, which weigh a few hundred pounds apiece, were made from a quarter-inch-thick aluminum core sandwiched between eighth-inch gold acrylic mirror panels. Working with Brooklyn–based Kammetal, Collective–LOK had around one month to fabricate the piece and, due to the 24/7 activity in the square, an overnight installation timeframe a day before the unveiling. Although the collective would like to do more work in the public realm, there are no plans right now for Heart of Hearts to be installed elsewhere. When asked to name another space that would suit the installation, Kubo credited the essence of the installation to its context: "The particularities of the Times Square context are just unrepeatable."
The Times Square Alliance takes "I ♥ New York" quite literally. For the past eight years, the nonprofit organization has invited architecture and design firms to create public art that responds to a Valentine's Day theme. This year the Times Square Alliance partnered with the Center for Architecture to administer the competition. Collective-LOK stole the hearts of jurists to win the 2016 Times Square Valentine Heart Design competition. Collective-LOK's submission, Heart of Hearts, is a circle of nine, ten-foot-tall golden hearts that reflect the lights and the goings-on of Times Square. The installation will be on view at Father Duffy Square, between 46th and 47th Streets, from February 29 through March 6. The sculpture is interactive, balancing private and public space in one of the world's busiest pedestrian plazas. Within each heart is a "kissing booth" that encourages intimate but performative affection. “[We] are thrilled to create the Heart of Hearts for Valentine’s Day, an engagement ring for our love affair with the spectacle of Times Square," Collective-LOK declared in a statement. "It’s truly a special opportunity to provide a space for intimacy and performance in the heart of the city, one we hope visitors will love.” The featured rendering certainly captures the ballet of a good city sidewalk—a llama stares contentedly at its reflection, a lonely man flouting blue laws drinks champagne from the bottle, while the Naked Cowboy jams on, stage left. Why is that man staring into that woman's white skirt? It's all part of the spectacle, apparently. For more heartwarming displays of public art, see AN's coverage of past competition winners here.
A big, red fluttering heart will be aglow in Times Square this coming Valentine’s Day. Brooklyn-based, Venezuelan-born firm, Stereotank, has been named the winner of the 2015 Times Square Valentine Heart Design for its HEARTBEAT sculpture. The firm was invited, among others, to conceive a proposal for a Valentine's Day–inspired installation, located among the many glimmering lights of the Great White Way. The Times Square Alliance, in partnership with the Architectural League of New York, selected the winning proposal, which will open on February 9th. Stereotank’s HEARTBEAT is an interactive installation in the shape of a large heart, designed to glow along with the rhythm of a resonating heartbeat sound, set to a low frequency. Percussion instruments flank both sides of sculpture. The pace of the sound of this life-size beating heart will change in response to the movement and engagement of visitors as they near the sculpture and tap on its drums—each of which produces distinct sounds from different sized membranes and materials, including synthetic snare skin, synthetic snare skin will coil, animal hide, and hard plastic. “What's common between Love and Music? Love is about sharing and being ‘in tune’ with somebody, so it is the creation of music, a concert is a combined action where the performers are also ‘in tune’ creating harmony. Heartbeat orchestrates Times Square's unique, active, flickering atmosphere,” said Stereotank architects Sara Valente and Marcelo Ertorteguy in a statement. This year’s finalists included Alibi Studio; The Bittertang Farm & James Lowder; Chat Travieso; Modu Architecture; SLO Architecture; and Taylor Miller. Past winners of the competition, now in its seventh year, have included Young Projects (2014); Situ Studio (2013); BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) (2012); Freecell (2011); Moorhead & Moorhead (2010); and Gage / Clemenceau Architects (2009). “The combination of an interactive heart beat that increases with approach and the music making capacities is very interesting," stated Barry Bergdoll, part of the Selection Committee and the Meyer Shapiro Professor of Art History and Archaeology, Columbia University. "It is an impressive object to occupy this space of cacophony, with sufficient red mass to be enjoyed even by wheeled passersby.”
Brooklyn-based Young Projects have been announced as the winner of the annual competition to design a Valentine's Day themed installation in Times Square. Times Square Arts, the wing of the Times Square Alliance responsible for public art programs, worked with the Van Alen Institute to select this year's design, which will go on display in early February. In the proposed scheme, dubbed Match-Maker, visitors position themselves at one of the twelve distinct viewing points corresponding to their own zodiac sign. By peering into the pink periscopes that create the heart-shaped structure the viewer is visually connected to the four most ideal mates amongst their fellow participants as dictated by astrological correspondence. Fittingly for a holiday that often produces drastically different emotional reactions, the installation's form is elusive and shifting. At times it reads as a fully-formed heart while from other vantage points it appears to be a jumbled mass. Young Projects join Situ Studio (2013); BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) (2012); Freecell (2011); Moorhead & Moorhead (2010); and Gage / Clemenceau Architects (2009) as firms to have won the competition. The heart will remain installed through mid-March.
Just in time for Valentines Day, today the Times Square Alliance and Design Trust for Public Space officially opened Situ Studio’s Heartwalk, a heart-shaped installation constructed of salvaged boards that once made up the boardwalks in Long Beach, Sea Girt, and Atlantic City, to the public. Heartwalk is the winner of the 5th annual Time Square Valentines Day Design competition, taking its cue, in subject matter and materials, from the “collective experience of Hurricane Sandy and the love that binds people together during trying times,” according to Times Square Alliance. Check out the installation "in the heart of Times Square" through March 8, 2013.