new york- and tuscon-based studio aranda\lasch has teamed up with designer marcelo coelho to design this year’s times square valentine’s day installation. titled ‘window to the heart’, the 12-foot diameter fresnel lens — the world’s largest — was designed with 3D-printing manufacturer formlabs to distort and capture the image of times square. the design optically bends light, as well as attention, to the heart-shaped window at its center.

times square heart window installation
this year’s times square valentine’s day installation is titled ‘window to the heart’
image and video by formlabs

 

 

visitors to times square can look through the window or photograph themselves within it. ‘we live in a culture experienced through screens and cameras and times square is its main temple,’ explains aranda\lasch and marcelo coelho. ‘however in this media culture only the image is celebrated and in times square only the screens are big. the unspoken hero of our media culture is the lens – behind every image is the lens that captured it.’

times square heart window installation
the 12-foot diameter fresnel lens is the world’s largest
image by ian douglas

 

 

rather than using the traditional lens-making methods of casting, cutting, and repeatedly polishing glass, ‘window to the heart’ uses the latest advances in design, materials, and fabrication to craft something that was previously unattainable. each lens segment is 3D-printed at a high resolution by formlabs using clear resin. with the lens made entirely from a 3D-printed material instead of glass, the installation upends centuries-old methods of lens-making to invite individuals to reimagine how they see and photograph the world.

times square heart window installation
visitors can look through the window or photograph themselves within it
image by ian douglas

 

 

‘by making a very large lens, we want to remind people that when they capture life with their camera — when they’re taking selfies — what they are doing is seeing reality distorted through a lens,’ continues the design team. ‘they’re capturing it, they’re filtering it, they’re sharing it. the power of a lens is that it makes people aware of the mechanics of seeing. times square is a symbol for how we experience our world in this way. it is a physical manifestation of our culture, one dispersed and absorbed through cameras and screens. and in this culture, to fall in love you must first fall through a lens.’

times square heart window installation
the installation both distorts and captures the image of times square
image by formlabs

 

 

on february 14, three couples were married next to the installation, while three marriage proposals and a large vow renewal ceremony also took place. even though valentine’s day is over for this year, couples can still head to times square to see ‘window to the heart’ in person until february 28, 2018.

times square heart window installation
the design optically bends light, as well as attention, to the heart-shaped window at its center
image by ian douglas

times square heart window installation
each lens segment is 3D-printed at a high resolution using clear resin
image by ian douglas

times square heart window installation
couples can head to times square to see ‘window to the heart’ until february 28, 2018
image by formlabs

 

 

project info:

 

name: window to the heart
project by: aranda\lasch (benjamin aranda, joaquin bonifaz, chris lasch) and marcelo coelho
3D printing: formlabs
engineering: laufs engineering design — will laufs, fernando tenelema-munoz, alexey nefedov
fabrication: caliper studio, jonathan taylor, stephen dunn, aaron smith, d edgar inc
transportation: 24/7 lifting inc
times square arts – debra simon, em pak, TJ witham

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