Celebrating Love in Times Square
Heart Squared the winning entry in the 2020 Times Square Heart Design Competition, organized by Times Square Arts and positioned in the busiest public spaces of New York is curated by the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.Designed to celebrate love and diversity in Times Square, Heart Squared is an abstracted anatomical heart formed by an open steel lattice. A cloud of air, steel, and mirrors, it draws visitors to walk around it and experience an “inﬁnite grid” in its kaleidoscopic reflections. Suspended within this lattice, and angled in various directions, 12 mirrors reﬂect the surroundings of Times Square — the people, buildings, billboards and even the sky above.
A heart shape is revealed when viewers ﬁnd a “sweet spot” from which a large pixelated heart appears, surrounded by a ﬁeld of reflected sky. In one of the world’s busiest public spaces, day or night, it is possible to connect to nature. Heart Squared is always changing with its surroundings as it reﬂects anyone who engages with it, videos from the billboards, and the weather in the skies above.
Heart Squared prompts visitors to reconsider the verticality of Times Square, focusing on its horizontal character as the public ﬂoor of the city. The installation achieves something remarkable—it is a quiet artwork amid a space of urban spectacle. The public’s experience 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.
Celebrating Love in Times Square through the month of February, Heart Squared is “a cloud of steel and mirrors that interact with viewers”. Commissioned by Times Square Arts and located in Father Duffy Square on 7th Avenue between 46th and 47th Streets, the urban intervention “is shaped as an abstracted anatomical heart formed from a cubic steel lattice”.
“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,” says Rachely Rotem, MODU, the design firm behind this inst Eric Forman adds that “Heart Squared is designed as a balancing act between structure and air, buildings and sky, people and city, and movement and slowness.”
Project Sponsors: The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Arts, The National Endowment for the Arts, public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, The Ripple Foundation– Carrie Denning Jackson and Daniel Jackson, Silman, and New Project.
Project Team: Rachely Rotem, Phu Hoang, Jiri Vala, Ilse De Sutter, Tom Sterling, Brenda Lim
Credits: Silman (Structural), New Project (Fabricator), Frank Oudeman/OTTO (Photography), Times Square Arts (Video)
Collaboration: MODU and Eric Forman Studio
Award: Winner, 2020 Times Square Heart competition
2020 / 250 sq. ft.