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“Heart Squared” Celebrates Love and Diversity in NYC’s Times Square

SVA Faculty Member Eric Forman's Art Installation Fosters Togetherness in the NYC Hub

February 12, 2020 by Michelle Mackin
A structure made of small, suspended mirrors reflects a pixelated NYC in the shape of a heart. The structure sits in a plaza of NYC's Times Square, surrounded by buildings and billboards.

Heart Squared installation in NYC's Times Square by Eric Forman Studio and MODU.

Credit: Frank Oudeman©/OTTO

Walking through Times Square, most New Yorkers typically keep their heads down while dodging wide-eyed tourists along the way. But in the lead-up to Valentine's Day, you're going to want to keep your eyes wide open. Eric Forman, the head of innovation and faculty member in SVA's MFA Interaction Design program, has given city dwellers a reason to stop, reflect—literally—and celebrate love and diversity amid the chaos with his new installation, Heart Squared.


Created by Eric Forman Studio and architecture and design firm MODU and presented by Times Square ArtsHeart Squared is an interactive exhibit featuring a cubic steel lattice with 125 square mirrors suspended within it. Each mirror is tilted in a different direction to show viewers at all head-on vantage points a grid of the urban landscape of people, buildings and billboards that makes up the New York City hub. When viewed from a specific "sweet spot," passersby can see a pixelated heart, outlined by a reflection of the sky.


A structure made of small, suspended mirrors reflects a pixelated NYC in the shape of a heart. The structure sits in a plaza of NYC's Times Square, surrounded by buildings and billboards.

Heart Squared installation in NYC's Times Square by Eric Forman Studio and MODU.

Credit: Frank Oudeman©/OTTO

Described by Forman as a "balancing act between structure and air, buildings and sky, people and city, and movement and slowness," the structure's reflections are continually changing because its surrounding environment is continually evolving. In this way, the artwork celebrates the unmatched energy of Times Square.


The designers hope that the installation will be a shared experience between strangers of various backgrounds. Viewers can interact spontaneously with one another through the mirrors or find their own experiences within the piece, celebrating their love of the city and the incredible diversity of people within it. "We are using the magic of mirrors and light to remix the urban spectacle into something unexpected," says Forman. "To give people a new way to see the city—and each other."

Heart Squared is this year's winner of New York City's annual Times Square Valentine Heart Design Competition. It is on view now in Father Duffy Square on 7th Avenue between 46th and 47th Streets, throughout February.


The installation marks the 12th anniversary of the Times Square Valentine Heart Design Competition, an annual event where Times Square Arts invites architecture and design firms to submit proposals for a public art installation celebrating love in Times Square in February. This year the competition was curated by Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.


On Tuesday, February 25, Cooper Hewitt will host a public program with Forman and MODU's Phu Hoang and Rachely Rotem, who will delve deeper into the design process story and explore the work in the greater context of public art and design installations. Purchase tickets here.

A structure made of small, suspended mirrors reflects a pixelated NYC in the shape of a heart. The structure sits in a plaza of NYC's Times Square, surrounded by buildings and billboards.

Heart Squared installation in NYC's Times Square by Eric Forman Studio and MODU.

Credit: Frank Oudeman©/OTTO