Times Square Arts and Van Alen Institute announced that Young Projects, a multidisciplinary design firm based in Brooklyn, is the winner of this year’s annual Times Square Valentine Heart Design. Over the last six years, the Times Square Alliance has invited architecture and design firms to submit proposals for a romantic public art installation celebrating Valentine’s Day in Times Square. This year’s winning design, Match-Maker by Young Projects in collaboration with fabricator Kammetal, will be unveiled on February 7, and remain on view through March 10. “Match-Maker” will be located at Father Duffy Square, between 46th and 47th Streets. Snuggle® fabric softener is the official sponsor of the Sixth Annual 2014 Valentine Heart Design.
“Match-Maker” will cosmically connect people this Valentine's Day. Guided by their zodiac signs, visitors arrange themselves at twelve points around the heart-shaped sculpture. Peering through colorful, interwoven periscopes provides glimpses of each viewer's four most ideal astrological mates, offering potentially novel connections between lonely souls or settled lovers. The form of the sculpture is elusive, complex and symmetrical, and changes as viewers experience it from different vantage points throughout Times Square. From many points of view it forms a perfect and iconic heart; from other perspectives the sculpture is tangled and perplexing.
“Van Alen Institute has a remarkable reputation of advancing innovation in architecture and design,” said Tim Tompkins, President of the Times Square Alliance. “Fifteen years ago, they ran the international juried competition that found us the now iconic design of the Red Steps of Duffy Square. This year, they found Young Projects’ “Match-Maker” installation, which will entice visitors to find love in the Crossroads of the World.”
David van der Leer, Executive Director of Van Alen Institute, said: “Van Alen Institute is always excited to bring its experience in organizing design competitions to places where it matters most. Working for the second time to bring design excellence to one of the most iconic public spaces in the city has been wonderful. But more importantly, we are thrilled that this year’s heart is not only for couples; it also celebrates all the singles in New York City.”
Stephen Cassell, Principal at Architecture Research Office and Chair of Van Alen Institute’s Board of Trustees, said, “From a pool of excellent proposals, Young Projects’ “Match-Maker” stood out as an intriguing design that uses signs of the zodiac to generate a compelling installation in the heart of Times Square. I look forward to seeing it realized as it continues this great Valentine’s tradition."
“Young Projects’ “Match-Maker” is an interactive, engaging object perfectly suited to Times Square,” said Tom Finkelpearl, Executive Director of Queens Museum and Selection Jury Member. “Can a sculpture act as a dating service? We will see. Even if not, Young Projects’ reinterpretation of the heart—not as a bodily organ but as a place for connection and romance—is refreshing and original.”
“I can tell you from personal experience, there is such a thing as love at first sight!” said Bryan Young, Principal of Young Projects. “In an era of digital communication, our design takes a decidedly analog approach to viscerally connect strangers and reaffirm compatibility between old partners. We are extremely honored to have been chosen by the jury for the 2014 Valentine Heart Design and are excited to realize the piece in collaboration with Brooklyn-based fabricator Kammetal.”
This year, Snuggle® fabric softener is the official sponsor of the Sixth Annual Valentine’s Day Heart Design. Recognized by its iconic Snuggle Bear, Snuggle is a leader in the fabric softener category and has been creating snuggle-up moments for over 30 years by bringing the ultimate in Snuggly Softness® and long-lasting freshness to loads of laundry across the country.
“We are thrilled to be sponsoring this year’s Valentine’s Day Heart Design,” said Bibie Wu, Vice President of Marketing, Snuggle. “The goal of Snuggle is to make the world a softer place by fostering connections between people. That’s why bringing together Snuggle Bear and this year’s sculpture is a perfect match.”
The proposals for the 2014 Valentine Heart Design Competition were reviewed by representatives from the Times Square Arts Advisory Committee and Van Alen Institute’s Board of Trustees, with expertise across the worlds of design, public art and city agencies: Barry Bergdoll, The Philip Johnson Curator of Architecture and Design, The Museum of Modern Art; Stephen Cassell, Principal, Architecture Research Office; Wendy Feuer, Manager of Urban Design & Art, Department of Transportation; Tom Finkelpearl, Executive Director, Queens Museum of Art; Jennifer Lantzas, Public Art Coordinator, Department of Parks, City of New York; Jonathan Marvel, Principal, Marvel Architects; and Sara Reisman, Director of Percent for Art, Department of Cultural Affairs. Additional Jurors: David van der Leer, Executive Director, Van Alen Institute; Susannah Bohlke, Director of Operations, Van Alen Institute; Ellen Goldstein, VP of Planning, Policy & Design, Times Square Alliance; and Sherry Dobbin, Director of Public Art, Times Square Arts.
Other invited finalists for the 2014 Times Square Valentine Heart Design included: Haiko Cornelissen Architecten; Pernilla Ohrstedt Studio; Schaum/Shieh Architects; SOFTlab; and The Living. Their proposals will be available for viewing on the websites of the Times Square Alliance, www.TimesSquareNYC.org/arts, and Van Alen Institute www.vanalen.org.
Previous winners of the Times Square Valentine Heart Design include: Situ Studio(2013); BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) (2012); Freecell (2011); Moorhead & Moorhead (2010); and Gage/Clemenceau Architects (2009).
Visitors can follow the conversation on Twitter using #LoveTimesSquare.
Times Square Arts, the public arts program of the Times Square Alliance, collaborates with contemporary artists to experiment and engage with one of the world's most iconic urban places. Acting as a laboratory for contemporary art in the public realm—a place where ideas are tested and new possibilities explored. Times Square Arts works with artists and cultural institutions to create dialogues with Times Square and all of its physical and mythological manifestations. 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 by ArtPlace America and ArtWorks. Visit www.TimesSquareNYC.org/arts for more information. Follow us on Twitter @TSqArts and Instagram http://instagram.com/tsqarts.
Van Alen Institute is dedicated to promoting innovative thinking about the role of architecture and design in civic life. Since its founding in 1894, Van Alen has shaped the public conversation and brought design excellence to sites and cities across the United States and beyond. Its widely influential legacy of competitions includes Public Property: An Ideas Competition for Governors Island (1996), which kicked off an international conversation about Governors Island and its redevelopment as a public resource. The winning entry of TKTS2K: A Competition to Design a New York Icon (1999) was constructed as the iconic TKTS booth in Times Square, reactivating public space at the busiest pedestrian intersection in New York City. Today, Van Alen continues to develop design competitions, research, and public programs that explore the cultural, political, ecological, and economic forces that activate the built environment. Learn more at www.vanalen.org.
About Bryan Young, Principal, Young Projects: Bryan Young founded the Brooklyn design studio Young Projects in 2010. The studio produces multidisciplinary work ranging from architecture and interiors to furniture and art. Current projects include a private retreat in the Dominican Republic; multiple penthouse, apartment, and townhouse renovations; single family residences in the Hudson Valley and the Hamptons; and commercial retail in NYC. Young was a recipient of the Architectural League Prize for 2013. Bryan Young received his Master of Architecture with distinction from Harvard University in 2003. At Harvard, he was awarded the AIA Henry Adams Medal for highest academic achievement and the James Templeton Kelley Thesis Prize. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Architecture with highest honors from the University of California, Berkeley. Young currently teaches graduate design studios at Parsons and MIT (spring 2014). Young previously taught at Columbia University and Syracuse University. He has been an invited design juror at universities including Harvard, Yale, Cooper Union, RISD, and Pratt.
About Snuggle: As a leader in the fabric conditioning category for more than 30 years, Snuggle provides the ultimate in Snuggly Softness® and long-lasting freshness to loads of laundry. Recognized by its iconic Snuggle Bear, which was created by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, birthplace of The Muppets and Sesame Street puppets, the Snuggle brand offers a variety of high-quality fabric conditioning products, including liquid softeners and dryer sheets in a variety of scents. Snuggle is manufactured by The Sun Products Corporation and is available at major retailers including most food, drug, mass, club and dollar stores. For more information, visit www.snuggle.com or www.facebook.com/snuggle.