Last week Times Square Alliance revealed a first look at its new design initiative. Time Square Design Lab (TSqDL) is the inaugural activation that will bring new ideas for public space 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.
The design innovations include:
•“Island Collection,” a seating concept by Ascalon that will offer a tranquil refuge through a simple yet multi-purpose modular system incorporating storage and planters.
•DYAD's poster holder, “Re: Post,” which refers to traditional community signage with a structure that borrows from kickboxing for a resilient and eye-catching display.
• Doucet’s “The Village” seating element characterized by large-scale, colorful enclosed pods fostering a sense of home and congregation while providing a distinguishable landmark for familiar faces to meet on the plaza.
• Urban design and place-making consultancy Hive Public Space’s shelving and seating in the form of a curvilinear bookcase called “Title Wave.” This piece integrates a bench into a bookcase for the area near the Strand Bookstore in Times Square.
• Lim’s “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 are due for reveal on the plaza in May 2018 in conjunction with the Design Pavilion activation which will act as a hub during NYCxDesign.