COUNTDOWN TO NYE
Times Square Design Lab (TSqDL) is a new design initiative that brings new ideas for public space onto the Broadway Plazas during this year’s celebration of NYCxDesign. Designers Brad Ascalon, Joe Doucet, Louis Lim, DYAD founded by Doug Fanning, and Hive Public Space have presented their solutions to briefs for seating, signage, and book display. Their innovations embody New York’s creative spirit and provide unique solutions for an improved pedestrian experience in the destination that boasts 350,000 to 450,000 visitors a day.
‘Island Collection’, a seating concept by Brad Ascalon, provides a tranquil refuge through a simple, yet multipurpose modular system incorporating storage and planters. Island Collection will be produced by Michigan firm Landscape Forms, and is the first of the five prototypes to have a manufacturing partner.
DYAD’s poster holder, ‘Re: Post’, refers to traditional community signage with a structure that borrows from kick-boxing for a resilient and attention-getting display.
Another seating design, by Joe Doucet, entitled ‘The Village’ is characterized by large-scale, colorful enclosed pods fostering a sense of home and congregation and providing a distinguishable landmark for familiar faces to meet on the plaza.
Urban design and placemaking consultancy Hive Public Space presents shelving and seating in the form of a curvilinear bookcase, named ‘Title Wave’. This piece integrates a bench into a bookcase for the area near the Strand Bookstore in Times Square.
Known for his work exploring the ideas of play and interaction in design, Louis Lim designed ‘Drop Sign’, a signage system with a teardrop shape that allows it to respond to wind or touch, attracting attention as it rebounds
“To inaugurate the Design Lab, Times Square asked great New York City designers to develop innovative ideas for improving one of the world’s most iconic public spaces, building on permanent transformations such as the red steps and the pedestrian plazas, and temporary transformations through design and public art”, said Tim Tompkins, President of the Times Square Alliance.
The ingenious works of these distinctive designers are a new phase in the Alliance’s efforts to have Times Square serve as a design laboratory for public space. Previous temporary installations have included its annual Valentine’s Heart Competition, Juergen Mayer’s XXX Times Square with Love, Vestre’s April Go furniture, and Times Square Arts. Times Square Alliance is working with 6¢ Design to create the Design Lab, and together they will make the plaza a new venue to celebrate New York’s design community and varied talent. Times Square Design Lab pieces were revealed on the plaza in May 2018 in conjunction with the Design Pavilion activation, which will act as a hub during NYCxDesign.
Photos courtesy of Craig LaCourt.