Our proposal for a sculptural installation in Times Square was a response to a brief that asked us to reflect on the idea that justice is what love looks like in community, and tenderness is its expression in private. The sculpture was to be installed over the month of February, and host events around Valentine’s day. We reflected on this inspiring brief in the context of our current polarized political climate and the presence of Times Square in the eyes of the world as a byword for a thriving intersection of people, place and culture and felt strongly that the solution must address not only the idea of romantic love that Valentine’s Day has come to signify, but larger expressions of love as it affects our societies and communities.
With this in mind, we explored the tectonic possibilities of intersecting shapes and examined what happens when two different planes intersect. Our search for simplicity in this process revealed the form of our proposal: two converging planes that together make an iconic “X” , which, when met at their intersection by a cylindrical volume, creates a heart-shaped space. For us the message is: at the meeting of difference and division, when justice, equality and democracy are inserted, love can be created.
Responding both to the nature of the site and the way we communicate love, our iconic X shape symbolizes the intersection of the world and New York that Times Square represents. The X has been the universal symbol for a kiss since 1813, ending affectionate messages, love letters, heartfelt notes, cards and emails all over the world. The X is the mark of a vote, of democracy and the freedom of choice for the individual. It also playfully references the vestigial XXX history of Times Square.
At 20 feet tall, this is taller than the average installation in the square. We felt the height works strongly with the proportions of the space and site, and allows the viewer to inhabit the work and the viewing distance to discover the heart shape within the X. As the public engages with the sculpture and steps on the platform of the X, the heart and the edges light up the more people inhabiting the space, the brighter the light. Along the visible interior, is inscribed the phrase “INTO DIFFERENCE , ADD EQUALITY,FIND LOVE”
Materially, the structure is light, reflective and luminous: reflecting the glowing lights of the surrounding screens. With sensors in its base, X will glow brighter responding to its visitors, a powerful, playful, and easily recognizable contribution to Valentine’s Day in New York and the meaning of Love in public space.
X is for Love.
Times Square Arts and AIA New York
Suchi Reddy, Suha Samara, Tim Liu
Reveal Design Group, Brooklyn Research
Emanuel Hahn, April Neufels, @nyclovesnyc, Gino Hawley
Architect, Suchi Reddy, founded Reddymade in 2002 with a human-centric approach to design—one that assesses the economic, social, environmental and cultural impacts of her work on both people and the planet. She brings over a decade of experience in large-scale cultural, educational, healthcare, retail, commercial, and residential projects to her award-winning practice based in New York City, and expanding to Los Angeles.
Specializing in diversity, Reddymade’s projects include public installations, exhibit design, adaptive reuse of historic buildings, large-scale commercial projects and residential projects that include houses, micro-apartments, and prefab architecture.
“Form follows feeling” is the guiding principle of the practice. Reddy’s strong belief is that the quality of the space evokes emotion and that good design, calibrated carefully to the human, enhances well-being, creativity, and productivity.