Times Square Arts is pleased to announce that Habitat Workshop’s Bloom is the winner of this year’s annual Love in Times Square Design Competition, presented in partnership with The Museum of Arts and Design and fabricated by IDEKO. Bloom offers a moment of levity, inviting the public to wander beneath a buoyant cloudscape and among fluctuating heart-shaped shadows cast through the structure’s intimate canopy by the ever-shifting colors and lights of Times Square. Bloom is on view at Father Duffy Square, between 46th and 47th Streets, with special Valentines Day events programmed for February 14, including vow renewals, surprise proposals, and a wedding ceremony. The installation will remain on view through March 9. Habitat Workshop is an architecture and urban design practice with a focus on promoting design as an agent of community change represented by designer Jieun Yang.
“We are honored for the opportunity to create a project that recognizes human fragility and strength, especially after a few years of struggle to care for ourselves and others in this overwhelming and disruptive world. Multiple sections of linked pipes form a buoyant cloud with a heart-shaped core blooming from each section’s center, and the aggregate of each interlocking connector provides strength for the overall structure. BLOOM is an offering of hope and a reminder that we must find vivacity amid the darkness,” said Habitat Workshop’s Jieun Yang.
For thirteen years, Times Square Arts has hosted this 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 14th year, the competition serves as a beacon of collective resilience and provides a sense of stability to an ever-changing city — especially during times of prolonged worldwide isolation. Situated in front of the Red Steps each year, the competition continues Times Square’s dedication to celebrating great design — a commitment exemplified by the Red Steps themselves, which have won multiple architecture awards.
“Bloom is a lighthearted reminder that we’re all bound together in some way, and speaks to the power of the collective to uplift one another – an intervention that channels the everyday elements of Times Square into a space for levity and connection,” said Times Square Arts Director Jean Cooney.
Bloom consists of a series of interconnected red and white PVC pipes, bundled together to create a circular roof plane pixelated with circles that extend downwards at different heights. The project serves as a gathering point positioned between the two statues on Duffy Square and takes the form of a buoyant cloudscape filled with vaulted portals that allow light to peek through from all directions. The structure channels the lights of Times Square and showers down rays of light that greet visitors once they enter the structure, serving as a reminder of the fleeting moments of happiness and joy that persevere even in the shroud of darkness. The project seeks liveliness as a call for love and responsibility, just as grounding and constant cores are necessary to lift the connective cloud-like form.
“MAD is delighted to partner with Times Square Arts this year to support the installation of Habitat Workshop’ designer Jieun Yang’s Bloom. Bloom‘s matrix-like canopy and shifting patterns of light will offer the viewer a transportive experience amidst the hustle and bustle of Times Square”, said Elissa Auther, Deputy Director of Curatorial Affairs and William and Mildred Lasdon Chief Curator at The Museum of Arts and Design.
At night, Bloom is enhanced by the surrounding billboards and buildings, which project a constantly changing spectrum of color onto the project. The bundled pipes work together to bloom from the center in a stunning arrangement of pixelated heart formations. The pattern changes direction and becomes elongated and shortened throughout the day, existing in a liminal space between change and constant.
The project reveals the necessity of grounding forces to find lightness; just as each heart blooms from the center and creates the thick core to hold up, we must find our core within ourselves and in our networks to reach out. The strength of the project’s structure is from the aggregate of each piece being a vital connector.
Bloom is an homage to the collective love for humanity — a shared experience that creates a sheltered canopy in the middle of Times Square — for all New Yorkers and visitors alike. It embodies human fragility and strength, reminding us that we are all bound together, each with the responsibility to lift each other so we can float together.
“Times Square is America’s town square, where New Yorkers and visitors continue to gather – whether to celebrate, make everyday connections, or see the sights – and we are thrilled to have a momentary sanctuary made in the honor of love to bring together the businesses and communities that make this district the unique and vibrant place it is,” said Tom Harris, President of Times Square Alliance.
A+A+A, bioMATTERS Studio, Devang Arvind Shah, and Studio Fierro were invited to submit proposals to the competition alongside Habitat Workshop. In addition to the Museum of Arts and Design Deputy Director and Chief Curator Elissa Auther, the competition selection committee included Carson Chan, Director of Emilio Ambasz Institute for the Joint Study of the Built and the Natural Environment at MoMA; Kendal Henry, Assistant Commissioner, Public Art, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs; Kim Yao, AIA, Principal, Architecture Research Office, and others.
Bloom is the epicenter of activities on Valentine’s Day in Times Square, including weddings, surprise proposals, and a vow renewal ceremony. For more information or for those who wish to participate, visit: www.TSQ.org/Love. Proposals EventBrite here. Weddings EventBrite here.
ABOUT TIMES SQUARE ARTS
Times Square Arts, the public art program of the Times Square Alliance, collaborates with contemporary artists and cultural institutions to experiment and engage with one of the world’s most iconic urban places. 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, such as Mel Chin, Tracey Emin, Jeffrey Gibson, Ryan McGinley, Yoko Ono, and Kehinde Wiley, 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.
ABOUT HABITAT WORKSHOP
Habitat Workshop is an award-winning architecture and urban design practice promoting design as a framework for positive changes. With projects ranging from urban design to homes and exhibitions, Habitat Workshop creates spaces, objects, ideas, and interactions that activate human connections, build resiliency, and reveal the intrinsic value of a place. Habitat Workshop combines research and practice to continuously refine ways of knowing, asking, learning, and making through collaborations and experiments. And its work explores the extraordinary potential in the ordinary and embraces constraints as the foundation for creative solutions.
ABOUT MUSEUM OF ARTS AND DESIGN
The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) champions contemporary makers across creative fields, presenting artists, designers, and artisans who apply the highest level of ingenuity and skill to their work. Since the Museum’s founding in 1956 by philanthropist and visionary Aileen Osborn Webb, MAD has celebrated all facets of making and the creative processes by which materials are transformed, from traditional techniques to cutting-edge technologies. Today, the Museum’s curatorial program builds upon a rich history of exhibitions that emphasize a cross-disciplinary approach to art and design, and reveals the workmanship behind the objects and environments that shape our everyday lives. MAD provides an international platform for practitioners who are influencing the direction of cultural production and driving 21st-century innovation, fostering a participatory setting for visitors to have direct encounters with skilled making and compelling works of art and design. madmuseum.org
IDEKO is a full-service event production agency specializing in the production of large-scale experiential events. Our mission is to make our client’s production dreams a reality by providing expert knowledge and hands-on technical service. From permitting, to fabrication, to production and everything in between, IDEKO’s award-winning team of experts is ready to take on your next event. As experiential leaders, our passion is to create incredible experiences that exceed industry standards. We think in practicality, not theory—our comprehensive approach to design, production, and permitting ensures success on every project. Our company focuses on innovative ways to create engaging live experiences for its clients including Red Bull North America, Proctor & Gamble, and Nike, among others. IDEKO takes clients through the entire event process from ideation to completion including planning, design, logistics, securing event permits in Times Square, NYC, LA and other major cities, budgeting, production, custom fabrications and mobile marketing. ideko.com