Window to the Heart at Times Square
Unveiling on February 1, 2018
Times Square Arts has announced that Window to the Heart is the winning design of this year’s Times Square Valentine Heart Design Competition curated by the Design Trust for Public Space.
Window to the Heart will be unveiled on February 1st at 11am at Father Duffy Square, between 46th and 47th Streets.
This marks the 10th anniversary of the Times Square Valentine Heart Design Competition, an annual event where Times Square Arts invites architecture and design firms to submit proposals for a public art installation celebrating Love in Times Square in February. This year’s design was created by collaborators Aranda\Lasch + Marcelo Coelho.
Window to the Heart places the world’s largest lens in the center of Times Square. The 12 foot in diameter Fresnel lens was designed with 3D-printing manufacturer Formlabs to distort and capture the image of Times Square, optically bending light – and attention – to the heart-shaped window at its center. Visitors can look through the window or photograph themselves within it, completing the loop between the lens of the eye and the lens of the camera.
Rather than using the traditional lens-making methods of casting, cutting, and repeatedly polishing glass, Window to the Heart will leverage the latest advances in design, materials, and fabrication to craft something that was previously unattainable. Each lens segment is 3D-printed at a high resolution by Formlabs using clear resin, a material capable of the unique surface quality and clarity required by optical elements. With the lens made entirely from a 3D-printed material instead of glass, Window to the Heart upends the centuries-old methods of lens-making to invite individuals to reimagine how they see and photograph the world. The structural engineering of the piece has been provided by Laufs Engineering Design – LED.
Other invited finalists for the 2018 Times Square Valentine Heart Design included: Jaklitsch / Gardner Architects, office iii, Studio Cadena, StudioKCA, studioSUMO, and Taller KEN. This year’s competition was curated by the Design Trust for Public Space.
Aranda\Lasch + Marcelo Coelho said, “Times Square is a symbol for how we experience our world. 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.”
Tim Tompkins, President of the Times Square Alliance, said “On the 10th anniversary of the Times Square Valentine Heart competition, what better place to host the world’s largest lens than the Crossroads of the World – one of the most photographed places in the world and a hub for innovative technology and design.”
Susan Chin, Executive Director of Design Trust for Public Space, said, “It’s remarkable how Aranda\Lasch + Marcelo Coelho’s Window to the Heart responded to this year’s broad theme of Labor of Love for the 2018 Valentine’s Heart competition. They created a rare optical experience that pushes the boundaries of technology, as well as draws on the hyper-stimulating atmosphere of Times Square. In a time when our love and empathy are tested every single day, we’ll now have a special window to share viewpoints and to see one another in a different light at the Crossroads of the World.”
The proposals for the 2018 Valentine Heart Design Competition were reviewed by representatives from the Valentine Heart Selection Committee and Sean Anderson, Associate Curator in the Department of Architecture and Design, MoMA; Susan Chin, Executive Director, Design Trust for Public Space; Emily Colasacco, Director of Urban Art / Summer Streets, DOT Art; Michelle Delk, Partner / Discipline Director, Snohetta; Jennifer Lantzas, Deputy Director of Public Art, NYC Parks; Mary Miss, Artist and Designer; Bradley Samuels, SITU Studio; Reina Shibata, Deputy Director, Percent for Art; Debra Simon, Director of Public Art, Times Square Alliance; Tim Tompkins, President of the Times Square Alliance; Barbara Wilks, Founding Principal, Architect/Landscape Artchitect, W Architecture and Landscape Architecture; and Bryan Young, Young Projects.
Previous winners of the Times Square Valentine Heart Design include: The Office for Creative Research (2017); Collective-LOK (2016); Stereotank (2015); Young Projects (2014); Situ Studio (2013); BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) (2012); Freecell (2011); Moorhead & Moorhead (2010); and Gage / Clemenceau Architects (2009).
Visitors can follow the conversation on social media using #WindowHeartTSq. More information about the project is available at timessquarenyc.org/WindowtotheHeart.
Times Square Arts
Times Square Arts, the public art program of the Times Square Alliance, collaborates with contemporary artists and cultural institutions to experiment and engage with one of the world’s most iconic urban places. Through the Square’s electronic billboards, public plazas, vacant areas and popular venues, and the Alliance’s own online landscape, Times Square Arts invites leading contemporary creators to help the public see Times Square in new ways. Times Square has always been a place of risk, innovation and creativity, and the Arts Program ensures these qualities remain central to the district’s unique identity. Generous support of Times Square Arts is provided in part by the National Endowment for the Arts; by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Visit www.timessquarenyc.org/arts for more information. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @TSqArts.
The Design Trust for Public Space is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the future of public space in New York City. Our projects bring together city agencies, community groups and private sector experts to make a lasting impact—through design—on how New Yorkers live, work and play. Our work can be seen, felt and experienced throughout all five boroughs—from parks and plazas to streets and public buildings. The Design Trust saved the High Line structure, jumpstarted NYC’s first custom-built Taxi of Tomorrow, developed the Community Design School for Flushing Meadows Corona Park, and created the city’s first comprehensive sustainability guidelines that became the precursor to Local Law 86 and PlaNYC, now OneNYC. Visit http://designtrust.org/ for more information. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram at @designtrustnyc.
Aranda\Lasch is a New York and Tucson-based studio designing buildings, installations and furniture directed by Benjamin Aranda, Chris Lasch and Joaquin Bonifaz. Recognition includes the United States Artists Award, Young Architects Award, Design Vanguard Award, AD Innovators, the Architectural League Emerging Voices Award, Graham Foundation Grants, and the J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller Prize. Their projects and research are subjects of the books Tooling and more recently, Trace Elements. Aranda\Lasch has exhibited internationally in galleries, museums, design fairs and biennials. Their work is part of the permanent collection of the MoMA in New York and is currently on view at the Chicago Architecture Biennial, Exhibit Columbus, Museum Angewante Kunst, The Queens Museum and the Museum of the City of New York. Benjamin Aranda teaches at the Cooper Union and Chris Lasch at the School of Architecture at Taliesin. www.arandalasch.com
Marcelo Coelho is a Brazilian/American computation designer working on products, installations, and crowd experiences. Spanning a wide range of media, processes, and scales, his work explores the boundaries between matter and information, fundamentally expanding and enhancing the ways in which we interact and communicate. Marcelo’s creative work has been exhibited internationally, including places such as the Rio 2016 Paralympics Ceremonies, Ars Electronica, The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, and Design Miami/, and can be found in private collections including the Maxine and Stuart Frankel Foundation for Art and The Rothschild Collection. Recognition for his work include two Prix Ars Electronica awards, VIDA 16.0 Award, and the W Hotels Designer of the Future Award. In addition to his practice, Marcelo is also a Lecturer at the MIT Department of Architecture and Head of Design at Formlabs. Prior to his practice, Marcelo Coelho received a Doctorate in Media Arts and Sciences from the MIT Media Lab. www.cmarcelo.com