MODU and Eric Forman Studio’s Heart Squared is the winner of 2020 Times Square Valentine Heart Design Competition, which was curated by Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. As this year’s winning design, Heart Squared will be unveiled on January 30 at 11am at Father Duffy Square, between 46th and 47th Streets. The installation will remain on view for the month of February.
Tilted in various directions within a steel frame that evokes the outline of an anatomic heart, the 125 mirrors of Heart Squared transform the spectacle of Times Square into kaleidoscopic images of people, buildings, and brightly-lit billboards. While the position of each mirror seems random, the designers developed a specialized technique to calculate the specific angles in order to hide a playful surprise. As viewers move around the structure towards a special marked location, those hundreds of reflections suddenly coalesce, revealing a pixel heart of urban life surrounded by a field of mirrored sky.
“We are using the magic of mirrors and light to remix the urban spectacle into something unexpected, to give people a new way to see the city — and each other.”
— Eric Forman, Eric Forman Studio
Heart Squared brings people together to discover the heart within — a heart that reflects anyone and everyone who engages with it, its colors and composition changing as the sun rises and sets, as billboard lights and screens shift, and as thousands of people pass by. Viewers can interact spontaneously with one another through the mirrors or find their own experiences within the piece, celebrating their love of the city and the incredible diversity of people within it.
“Heart Squared represents the collective heart of the city and as such, is an engaging civic statement about celebrating our differences and bringing people together in a fundamentally inclusive way.”
— Phu Hoang and Rachely Rotem, MODU
This marks the 12th anniversary of the Times Square Valentine Heart Design Competition, an annual process by which Times Square Arts and a curatorial partner invite architecture and design firms to submit proposals for a public art installation celebrating Love in Times Square in February. Situated in front of the Red Steps each year, the Valentine Heart installation 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 three years.
Other architecture and design firms invited to submit proposals for the 2020 Times Square Valentine Heart Design included: Agency Agency / Tei Carpenter, HOU DE SOUSA, Isometric Studio, Office III, Other Means.