Window to the Heart
On Thursday the tenth annual Times Square Valentine Heart Design was unveiled. I didn't make it to the press event that morning, but I did head there yesterday afternoon. I'm glad I did, because the installation's presence is more impressive after the sun goes down – appropriately so, given its location.
Window to the Heart is the creation of ArandaLasch + Marcelo Coelho with Formlabs, with Laufs Engineering Design as structural engineer. This year's competition was curated by Design Trust for Public Space. Billed as "the world’s largest lens," the 12-foot-diameter installation was designed by ArandaLasch with 3D-printing manufacturer Formlabs "to distort and capture the image of Times Square, optically bending light – and attention – to the heart-shaped window at its center."
With this goal in mind, the resulting effect is hard to grasp during the day:
But is more understandable once the sun goes down:
Times Square Arts, which commissioned the piece, describes Times Square as "one of the world's most Instagrammed places." Going along with that, the annual Heart entices people (couples, mainly) already looking for a photo opportunity to step up to the installation and use it as a frame for their sweetheart shot. I could have taken shots like this all evening:
Though I preferred this view of the installation, where people had to awkwardly crouch in order to pose at the level of the heart cutout (intentional on the part of the designers?):
Although the installation looks like glass (as most lenses tend to be), Window to the Heart was 3D-printed at a high resolution by Formlabs using clear resin. In turn, it's profile is close to nonexistent:
Window to the Heart is on display at Father Duffy Square in Times Square until February 28, 2018.