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Community / Public space

Hate Valentine's Day? You might want to avoid Times Square for most of February

From next Monday, New York’s Times Square is going into romance overload. As part of a yearly competition to design a Valentine’s Day sculpture for the square, it’s hosting a giant, pulsating heart, surrounded by people playing percussion and, um, dancing. 

The sculpture, shown above, is the work of design firm Stereotank. According to design site Bustler, it’s an “urban drum”:

… a massive heart glowing to the rhythm of a strong, deep and low frequency heartbeat sound which changes its rate as visitors approach, move around and engage with it by playing various percussion instruments and joining the base rhythm of the heartbeat. The audience is invited to come together and creatively play, listen, dance and feel the vibrations of the heart while enjoying the warm pulsating light.

Sounds lovely.

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Saccharinity in the square will reach its peak, as you might expect, on the 14th: Times Square’s website also welcomes New Yorkers to propose, get married or renew their vows there on the big day. The Heartbeat sculpture will be there until 9 March – so if you’re not a fan of public dancing, percussion or giant glowing hearts it might be best to avoid the area until then. 

The city holds the design competition every year. Past winners have included Situ Studio’s “Heartwalk” installation in 2013, which took the form of a heart-shaped, pink-lit sculpture built from boardwalks salvaged after Hurricane Sandy. Which, we have to admit, is kind of nice:

In 2014, the space was occupied by “The Match-maker“: a heart-shaped tangle of tubes which promised to match New Yorkers by their “zodiac sign”: visitors arranged themselves according to their sign, then the tubes allowed them to speak to the match the stars decreed.

A failsafe method, we’re sure. 

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