In 1969, zoologist Desmond Morris released a book titled The Human Zoo; in it, he argued that human beings, tribal by nature, aren’t wired to live in the big, crowded modern-day cities we find ourselves in:
“Some people call the city a ‘concrete jungle’ — but jungles aren’t like that. Animals in jungles aren’t overcrowded. And overcrowding is the central problem of modern city life. If you want to look for crowded animals, you have to look in the zoo. And then it occurred to me: The city is not a concrete jungle — it’s a human zoo.”
Humans in a city are like animals in a zoo. It’s a fascinating claim, one that led me to a rather unusual thought.
If we take for granted Morris’ claim that the city is essentially a human zoo, and that, as we are all aware, it’s far more difficult for animals to mate in captivity, then – could cities actually limit our capacity for love? As our world becomes more and more urbanized, will it also become more lonely?
Is there any way to stop it?
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Situ Studio has unveiled the fifth edition of Times Square’s annual Heartwalk installation – a heart-shaped “room within the city” made of salvaged Sandy debris. Inspired by the “collective experience of Hurricane Sandy and the love that binds people together during trying times,” Heartwalk begins as two weathered ribbons of wooden planks that gradually lift to form an illuminated heart enclosure in the middle of Duffy Square.
People are already falling in love, as you can see Instagram’s #heartwalktsq is filling up with images of elated New Yorkers standing within the “heart of New York City”.
More images after the break…
Situ Studio has been selected from eight competitors as winner of the fifth annual Times Square Valentine Heart Design, cosponsored by Times Square Arts, the public art program of the Times Square Alliance, along with Design Trust for Public Space. The young, Brooklyn-based practice won the jury over with their Heartwalk proposal made of New York and New Jersey boardwalk boards that were salvaged from the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
The installation will be unveiled on Tuesday, February 12, 2013, and remain on view until March 8, 2013.
Learn more about Situ Studio’s winning proposal after the break.
Together, BIG + Times Square Alliance + Flatcut + Local Projects and Zumtobel celebrates Valentines Day with a BIG red pulsating heart in the middle of Times Square, New York. The 10-foot-tall heart pulsates as the 400 transparent, LED lit, acrylic tubes sway in the wind. Once people touch the heart-shaped sensor, the light grows brighter and the pulse beats faster. Joining hands with more people will increase the intensity of the heart.
“The heart reflects what Times Square is made of: people and light – the more people, the stronger the light,” Bjarke Ingels, Founder & Partner, BIG.
See the love with the video above and more images after the break.
LightHearted is the winning design for this years Times Square Valentine, an annual competition to deign and build a heart for Times Square. Designed by Freecell, a 2010 P.S.1 contestant, in collaboration with Peter Dorsey, the ten-foot diameter heart is a light weight construction, with five pairs of aluminum elliptical loops radially arranged with rotating connections. The structure is covered with an open weave red fabric that both captures and reflects light while letting wind pass through.
LightHearted is an interactive installation, six people will hold the heart up for fifteen minute intervals. The ten-day event, February 10 to February 20, will need over 2,600 volunteers to share in this collective experience.
Head to the LightHearted website and sign up for your fifteen minutes on their volunteer calendar!
Architects: Freecell, and Peter Dorsey
Location: 46th Street and Broadway, New York City, New York, USA
Web Design: Deelux
Sponsor: Times Square Alliance Public Art Program
Photographs: Courtesy of Freecell
With Valentines Day barely a week away, the Times Square Alliance is eschewing flowers and candy yet again. Instead, they’re sending New Yorkers a giant designer valentine for the second year in a row, as Moorhead & Moorhead will stage an installation adjacent the TKTS Booth beginning today.
Seen at The Architect’s Newspaper Blog.
A heart-shaped sculpture by Gage Clemenceau Architects will land on Times Square today. It will stay on Duffy Square until March 1st. The sculpture is constructed with DuPontTM Corian® strawberry ice and welded steel tubes. The heart is lit from within using color changing LED lighting.
For more information, go to Times Square website.
More pictures after the break.