2022 Heart Design Proposal: A+A+A, New York Hearts New York Hearts New York

NY 💙 NY 💗 NY

New York City is a place defined by people — without them, it is a shell of sidewalks and steel and light, empty of its vital energy. In the contact-rich site of Times Square, New York loves New York loves New York tells the story of love of a city, love for a stranger, love for a friend, love for a partner, and love for each other. It invites New Yorkers and visitors alike to take a moment of pause in the hectic heart of the city: to come together around a table for a subtle glance, quick conversation, or a heartfelt declaration. A heart motif is split into three components each inviting a different scale of interaction: a bar height table engaging groups of friends and strangers, a lower table inviting an intimate conversation for two, and a tall booth for self love, reflection, and a projection of kindness out into the world. The view from the top of the red steps reveals the fragmented heart, while each elevation welcomes playful exploration from all parts of Duffy Square.



2022 Heart Design Proposal: bioMATTERS, Love Life, Love Earth

bioMATTERS Studio
Love Life, Love Earth
For a regenerative interspecies cohabitation

This project aims to create a spatial experience that communicates an urgent message of empathy between human, non-human species, and the planet earth. The design process combines knowledge of biology, biomaterials, and artificial intelligence to create a vivid experience in Times Square by presenting an artificial urban ecosystem.

This ecosystem forms a radial spatial configuration made of ‘bio-blocks’ composed of upcycled cardboard and plastic waste. The blocks of waste are colonized by microorganisms that together compel us to imagine alternative conditions for a more symbiotic cohabitation between interspecies in the future. This artificial ecosystem symbolizes a ‘future ruin,’ a symbol of a time of overconsumption and ecological neglect. The ruin is made entirely out of human consumer waste that is now being regenerated with the colonization of invisible microorganisms, in this case by fungi growing over the substrate creating a strong biocomposite material crafted with the lowest environmental impact possible.

At the center of the radial spatial configuration, a series of screens display the second component of the project: AI-generated speculative visualizations of ‘Futuristic Biological Beings.’ Via a machine learning system, we trained an algorithm with a database of images that represent microscopic cells from the six kingdoms of life: Archaebacteria, Eubacteria, Protista, Fungi, Plants, and Animals. The ‘artificial genetic’ recombination of microscopic living cells was used to produce speculative visualizations of novel artificial life forms as hybrid interspecies entities.



2022 Heart Design Proposal: Devang Arvind Shah, Bed of Roses

Devang Arvind Shah
A Bed of Roses

A Bed of Roses allows visitors to see Times Square with a surreal perspective —  laying down outdoors, in a grand heated bed, floating above a bed of winter flowers.

Using a layered approach to metaphor, the sculpture references:

  • The grand leisure of Persian and Asian family-sized beds
  • Times Square's historically edgy relationship to sex
  • Death, loss, and rebirth during the pandemic
  • America’s racially charged history of criminalizing homelessness, loitering, and public rest, including the artist's own experiences with stop and frisk

With no obvious indication, radiant heat spreads throughout the sculpture. Kept at a comfortable 75 degrees, it invites touch and a longer stay. The “pillows” are concrete, lovingly cast with engraved details. A field of winter flowers below gives softness, fragrance, and color. A Bed of Roses references physical processes: death, life, leisure, sex, and sleep. But ultimately, it relates to slowing down, rebirth, and historical inequalities, and gains contrast and connection being located in one of the most human-centered environments in the world.



2022 Heart Design Proposal: Studio Fierro, I LOVE NEW YORK

Studio Fierro Architecture

The I LOVE NEW YORK bench is a reminder that together we can build strength or comfort, find beauty and warmth, ensure resilience and endurance, and ignite love and kindness. Times Square is a place of imaginary urban landscapes, a display of world stage products and productions, financial markets, entertainment, assembly, connection, and encounters. In the same way pixels create a digital image in the monumental screens of Times Square, we use a material pixel (concrete block) to build an image of Love —an Ode to New York City. From the digital to the analog we wanted to honor the physicality of the working class, the backbone of the city. Most of the time concrete blocks get covered by other materials and are seldom shown in their true nature. By exposing the block in its purest form and displaying the simplicity and beauty of its materiality we also enhance how resilient it can be — just like New Yorkers, who come together as individuals and create urban culture as a whole. Together like pixels we composed an image of a city that is majestic, powerful, resilient, public, accessible and relevant for the times we are living —making us remember how much we love our city. The I LOVE NEW YORK bench invites all the different voices in the city to leave a message of hope, kindness, care, reflection and love.