‘Match-Maker’ Urban Activation


by Shaakira Chohan

With Valentines Day consumerism spreading through this week, and in an effort to resist the soppiness of it all, this Arch Daily feature seemed to capture my heart a whole lot more than the red roses and glittery greeting cards filling stores all around (bitter much?).

Johannesburg is seeing an inspiring scattering of public art installations through our public spaces, but perhaps not as engaging and spontaneous as it could be.

The idea of pop-up installations is one that activates a space and starts a trending conversation in an energetic way. Are our approaches to activating of public spaces the right ones? Should we not start tying social interests and conversations back into design of our public spaces?

Young Projects are helping New Yorkers celebrate love through an urban match making concept, that I think can lend some simulation for us to harness our love affair with our city even more.


Young Projects to Design “Match-Maker” Heart for Times Square

by Karissa Rosenfield at ArchDaily

Young Projects will be spending the week playing “Match-Maker” in , as the Brooklyn-based studio has debuted their interactive Valentine’s Day installation in the heart of Times Square. Made in collaboration with fabricator Kammental, as part of Times Square Alliance’s sixth annual heart design competition, the interactive heart-shaped sculpture is designed to cosmically connect people based on their zodiac signs by arranging curious passerby’s at twelve points surrounding the installation.

As Young Projects describes, “Peering through colorful, interwoven periscopes provides glimpses of each viewer’s four most ideal astrological mates, offering potentially novel connections between lonely souls or settled lovers.”

Courtesy of Young Projects

Courtesy of Young Projects

“The form of the sculpture is elusive, complex and symmetrical, and changes as viewers experience it from different vantage points throughout Times Square. From many points of view it forms a perfect and iconic heart; from other perspectives the sculpture is tangled and perplexing.”

A perfect installation for a city that has been accused of keeping its dwellers single.

Ka-Man Tse for Times Square Arts

Ka-Man Tse for Times Square Arts


Courtesy of Young Projects

“Can a sculpture act as a dating service,” asked Tom Finkelpearl, Executive Director of Queens Museum and Selection Jury Member. “We will see.  Even if not, Young Projects’ reinterpretation of the heart—not as a bodily organ but as a place for connection and romance—is refreshing and original.”

Previous winners of the Times Square Valentine Heart Design include: Situ Studio (2013); BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) (2012); Freecell (2011); Moorhead & Moorhead (2010); and Gage / Clemenceau Architects (2009).

Visitors can follow the conversation on Twitter using #LoveTimesSquare.

This year’s Times Square Valentine Heart Design competition is made possible by the Times Square Alliance and Van Alen Institute.

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This article originally appeared at The ArchDaily Blog on the 11 February 2014.