“X” celebrates diversity, equality, and the power of community at the
Crossroads of the World
New York, NY – February 1, 2019 – Times Square Arts and AIA New York unveil the 11th annual Times Square Valentine Heart, “X” by Suchi Reddy, founder of Reddymade, a New York-based diverse architecture and design practice. The monthlong sculptural installation is unveiled to the public on Friday, February 1, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. on Duffy Square (Broadway/7th Avenue and 46th Street) and on display until February 28, 2019.
Reddymade has created the largest and tallest Valentine Heart sculpture ever displayed in Times Square for the annual installation. “X” takes its form with two intersecting aluminum planes, creating an 18-foot-tall structure. Rounded openings at the crossing of the planes combine to form a heart shape when viewed from different angles, with the phrase “Into Difference, Add Equality, Find Love, Don’t Forget the Flowers” inscribed within the openings. “X”’s glowing light grows brighter as people gather nearby in a physical expression of the power of community and love.
Reddymade’s “X” evokes many expressions of interpersonal and civic love, including the written symbol for a kiss, a representation of intersecting forms, and the mark of a democratic vote. Here, “X” explores how love within communities can manifest through connecting diversity and equality. Much like the convergence of lines in an X, people from all backgrounds cross paths in Times Square, and Reddymade’s design offers a purposeful moment for further exchange and connection.
“I founded Reddymade as a diverse architecture and design practice, with a human-centric approach,” said Reddy. “In a time of rising xenophobia and division in communities, I was inspired by the thoughtful brief to make an installation that is not only beautiful but is relevant to its context and communicates a message. Exploring the idea of community as a place of intersection led me to the tectonic expression of ‘X,’ which fit the context of Times Square, one of the most thriving intersections in the world of people, place and culture.”
To create “X”’s glowing effect, high intensity LED lighting illuminates the edges and rounded openings where the two planes intersect. The lighting is connected to a matrix of sensors embedded beneath the steel floor and on its surface that detect the approximate number of visitors. The lighting will brighten and dim based on the number of visitors who interact with the structure, allowing the organic nature of a crowd to be visualized and influenced in real time. “X” is fabricated by Bednark Studios and its lighting system is made possible by Reveal Design Group and Brooklyn Research, and generously supported by Philips Color Kinetics and Q-Tran. Special support for “X” is also provided by Judy and Jamie Dimon.
Tim Tompkins, President of the Times Square Alliance, said, “Times Square is known as the Crossroads of the World for the x-like intersection of 7th Ave and Broadway, but also for its role as a place where people from all around the world can cross paths. Situated at the intersection of culture, commerce, design, and free speech, Reddymade’s ‘X’ calls upon those multiple layers of meaning, creating a design that feels perfect for Times Square.”
“We are excited to invite the public to experience Reddymade’s monumental ‘X’ in the heart of Times Square. The installation’s imaginative design encourages everyone to come together in NYC’s most bustling public space and pause for a moment of love and unity,” said Benjamin Prosky, Assoc. AIA, Executive Director, AIA New York Chapter | Center for Architecture.
The Times Square Valentine Heart competition, now in its 11th year, has showcased the works of great architects and design firms such as Gage/Clemenceau, Moorhead & Moorhead, Freecell, BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group), Situ Studio, Young Projects, Stereo Tank, Collective-LOK, The Office for Creative Research, and ArandaLasch with Marcelo Coelho, and has partnered with distinguished organizations such as Design Trust for Public Space, Urban Design Forum, The Center for Architecture, The Architecture League of New York, and Van Alen Institute. Situated in front of the Red Steps each year, the Valentine Heart continues Times Square’s commitment to celebrating great design — a commitment exemplified by the Red Steps themselves, which have won multiple architecture awards; by the Times Square Design Lab initiative; and by Times Square’s connection to events like NYCxDESIGN, which has stationed its Design Pavilion on the Broadway Plazas for the past two years.
“X” will be free and open to the public through the month of February. Visitors can follow the conversation on social media using #HeartTSq. More information about the project is available at tsq.org/x.
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 Andy Warhol Foundation for the Arts; the Rockefeller Brothers Fund; the National Endowment for the Arts; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Visit www.timessquarenyc.org/arts for more information. Follow us on Instagram at @TSqArts.
AIA New York
AIA New York is the oldest and largest chapter of the American Institute of Architects, with more than 5,500 architect, allied professional, student, and public members. AIANY is dedicated to three goals: design excellence, public outreach and professional development. www.aiany.org. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @centerforarch.
Suchi Reddy | Reddymade
Architect Suchi Reddy founded Reddymade, her architecture and design practice, in 2002 with a human-centric approach to design, one that assesses the economic, social, environmental and cultural impacts of her work on both people and planet. “Form follows feeling” is the guiding principle of the practice, which privileges the effects of space and the built environment on the user. The firm has won numerous awards including NYCxDesign, AIA Brooklyn + Queens Award, AIA New York State Excelsior Award, and Interior Design’s best of year awards.
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