Love's h|Edge

Almost Studio

Public Unveiling |  Wednesday, February 1, 11–11:30am
Daily Rose Dedications |  1pm
Love’s h|Edge is made possible by presenting sponsor Minted Weddings

Created by Brooklyn-based design practice Almost Studio, Love’s h|Edge is the winner of the 15th Annual Times Square Love & Design Competition. A playful configuration of four heart-shaped hedge rows encouraging discovery and reflection, Love’s h|Edge invites visitors to journey through hidden pathways, rose-filled trellises, and heart-shaped interior spaces endearingly termed “Pitter-Patios.'' Leveraging the theatricality of landscape design, the maze-like installation becomes a stage for exploration, play, and chance encounters.

Much like Times Square itself, Love’s h|Edge is a dynamic, multi-sensory experience and will evolve over the course of the month. Each day at 1pm, Times Square Arts and Almost Studio will stage a free dedication of freshly cut roses, and visitors will be invited to “Fill Up the Heart” by adding their flowers to the trellises of the Pitter-Patios as a personal acknowledgement and act of love. Over the span of 28 days, the artificial hedge rows will appear to blossom as the roses accumulate into a living sculpture.

In addition to the scent of the flowers and texture of the hedges, Love’s h|Edge is also programmed with illumination and recorded soundscape, inviting a range of sensory experiences. Generated from ADA-accessible building code dimensions, the technical dimensions of the spaces in Love’s h|Edge are intended to be fundamentally inclusive and embody a sense of expansive compassion.

“All will be clear in the fullness of time…”  - Alice Through the Looking Glass /  2016

"Like a daydream, and just for just a moment – forget your troubles, your stress, your to-do’s, and where you are going. Love’s h|Hedge is meant to be a pause, a momentary illusion, in your day, in your week, and in your life. Planting an artificial garden within Times Square is meant to be a jolt from our routines. It is meant to draw from the history of landscape design, public theater, and Surrealism to take us out of our everyday and instead offer a garden island of wonders, what-ifs, and somedays. It is a place of reflection and reformation. It is a place to look at yourself and others anew.

"Just as love has no edges, no boundaries — we have an expansive sense of gratitude for being selected for the 15th Annual Love & Design Competition in Times Square, and are deeply honored to have been considered alongside teams we admire so highly, and we are especially thankful to Eli Liebenow and Isabella Calidonio for being who they are — which is kind, thoughtful, and supremely talented teammates."

— Dorian Booth and Anthony V. Gagliardi, Almost Studio

For fourteen years, Times Square Arts has hosted the Times Square Love and Design Competition to applaud the work of architecture and design firms and address themes of love during the month of February in Times Square. Now in its 15th year, the competition serves as a beacon of collective resilience and provides a sense of joy in an ever-changing landscape of uncertainty and our continued emergence from a global pandemic.

Architensions, Future Projects, Limbo Accra x Alaska Alaska, Office of Things, and Yeju & Chat were invited to submit proposals to the competition alongside Almost Studio. The competition selection committee included:

  • Stephen Cassell, FAIA, Principal, Architecture Research Office
  • Carson Chan, Director of Emilio Ambasz Institute for the Joint Study of the Built and the Natural Environment, MoMA
  • Christina Curry, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities
  • Wendy Feuer, Former Assistant Commissioner Urban Design + Art + Wayfinding, NYC Department of Transportation
  • Kendal Henry, Assistant Commissioner, Public Art, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs
  • Fauzia Khanani, Founder & Principal, Studio Fōr
  • Nina Marren, Senior Program Manager, NYC Department of Transportation Art Program
  • Elizabeth Masella, Senior Public Art Coordinator, NYC Parks & Recreation
  • ADA Accessibility Consultant (Non-voting): Christina Curry, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities

See the proposals from all the invitees

Love’s h|Edge will become the backdrop for the annual Valentine’s Day activities in Times Square, which includes weddings, surprise proposals, and a vow renewal ceremony. This year, Love in Times Square is proudly presented by the Times Square Alliance and Minted Weddings, the premium design marketplace. For more information on the February 14th events and how to participate, head to www.TSQ.org/Love.

A special thank you to Elise Jaffe + Jeffrey Brown for their generous support. Funding for Love’s h|Edge is also provided in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Fabrication of Love’s h|Edge is by Arcana. Sound design and audio engineering by Fernelly Sarria Jr. The design of Love’s h|Edge was led by Almost Studio co-founders Dorian Booth and Anthony Gagliardi, with team members Eli Liebenow and Isabella Calidonio.

ABOUT ALMOST STUDIO
Almost Studio is a Brooklyn-based design practice established in 2018. Their unique approach considers a successful project as never complete and always becoming: exposing unknown cultural, social, and spatial potential as time passes. In that sense, the process of design and the close-out of construction is simply the starting point of their projects. Focused on process rather than style or typology, Almost Studio challenges commonly held beliefs, conventions, and canons at all project scales. This has led to recognition and publication of many projects including exhibitions, castles, installations, urban design, furniture, fashion runways, residences, storefronts and art festivals. Current and past projects include work with the Ragdale Foundation, Yale University, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Chloé, Sandy Liang, ArtPrize, Dallas Contemporary, New York Fashion Week, and private residences in New York, Ohio, California, Maine, and Villecien, France.
 
ABOUT MINTED
Minted is a premium goods marketplace, committed to discovering and fostering the world’s untapped creative talent and bringing it to market. The company’s wedding, art, stationery, and home furnishings products have reached more than 75 million homes worldwide. Using Minted’s crowdsourcing technology, consumers are empowered to vote for the designs they love and want to see sold, ensuring that Minted continuously sells fresh and trend-forward products. The winning designs are manufactured by Minted, enabling artists from around the world to sell their work while letting Minted do the rest. Since launching in 2007, the company has expanded to serve consumers in new categories including wall art, textiles, digital content, and home furnishings. Minted also builds traditional retail distribution for its independent artist community, partnering with major retailers and consumer products brands. The company has raised more than $300 million from top-tier investors including Benchmark Capital, T. Rowe Price, Permira, Ridge Ventures, Technology Crossover Ventures, and Norwest Venture Partners.

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Photos by Maria Baranova