Times Square Arts recently crowned design studio Aranda\Lasch and Formlabs Head of Design Marcelo Coelho the winners of this year’s annual Times Square Valentine Heart Design competition. The winning design, Window to the Heart, is a giant lens designed and 3D printed to distort and capture the image of Times Square.
More than just a beautiful piece of public art, Window to the Heart will also become the world's largest lens this coming Valentine's Day. It will assume the mantle from the Fresnel lens at Makapu’u Point, which is made from glass. The new lens will be made from interlocking 3D printed bricks that reflect and distort every orifice of Times Square. It will go down as one of Marcelo's most ambitious 3D printing projects yet, due to the scale of the lens (it will measure 10-by-12-foot).
“Marcelo and I walked around Times Square and noticed that everyone has their camera out, photographing themselves in the light of the media around them. In this sense, Times Square is a symbol for how we experience our world,” designer Aranda Lash said. “It is a physical manifestation of our culture, one dispersed and absorbed through cameras and screens.”
“The lens is what makes it all possible so we decided to design our own at the scale Times Square demands,” added Coelho, “Previously, a lens of this scale would have been impossible to create. Window to the Heart serves as an example of what’s possible with the latest advances in design, materials, and fabrication.”
Window to the Heart will be composed of 98 concentric rings and each circle will be made from a series of 3D printed bricks. In total, the sculpture will have 1,090 bricks to make up the 10-by-12-foot design. 50 Formlabs Form 2 3D printers will be used to fabricate the bricks and two weeks of build time will be allocated to get the job done. The team will also make use of the Form Cell, an automated production line system, to improve efficiency.
Overall, this is easily one of the most interesting and complex pieces of public art we've seen - especially considering it's entirely 3D printed. Interested in seeing it in person? Window to the Heart will be displayed from February 1st, 2018, at 11am at Father Duffy Square, between 46th and 47th Streets. It will be on display throughout February.