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February 6, 2019
by Benjamin Prosky
Tom Finkelpearl, Commissioner, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs; Benjamin Prosky, Assoc. AIA, Executive Director, AIANY and Center for Architecture; Suchi Reddy, Founder, Reddymade; and Tim Tompkins, President, Times Square Arts. Image credit: Ka-Man Tse for Times Square Arts.
Tom Finkelpearl, Commissioner, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs; Benjamin Prosky, Assoc. AIA, Executive Director, AIANY and Center for Architecture; Suchi Reddy, Founder, Reddymade; and Tim Tompkins, President, Times Square Arts. Image credit: Ka-Man Tse for Times Square Arts.

On Friday, February 1, Times Square Arts and AIA New York unveiled the 11th-annual Times Square Valentine Heart, “X” by Suchi Reddy, founder of Reddymade.

Though it was an exceptionally cold morning, we were joined by New York State Assembly Member Richard Gottfried, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl, a number of journalists, and many curious visitors to Times Square.

This year’s valentine, the tallest in the competition’s history, takes the form of two intersecting aluminum planes, creating an 18-foot-tall X shape. Elliptical openings at the crossing of the planes combine to form a heart shape when viewed from different angles.

Reddymade’s “X” evokes many expressions of interpersonal and civic love, including the written symbol for a kiss, a representation of intersecting forms, and the mark of a democratic vote.  Much like the convergence of lines in an X, people from all backgrounds cross paths in Times Square; Reddymade’s design provides a space for further exchange and connection. As Commissioner Finkelpearl pointed out, X has even greater significance to New Yorkers today, as the city recently added a third nonbinary gender category, X, on their birth certificate.

AIA New York was honored to curate the short list of design firms who participated in this year’s competition. I’d like to congratulate all the designer who participated for their exceptional designs, which were featured at an exhibition at the Center for Architecture in October 2018. I’d also like to thank all members of the Valentine Heart Selection Committee for their dedication and commitment to showcasing New York City design talent in the heart of Times Square.

“X” will be on view at Father Duffy Square, between 46th and 47th Streets, through February 28, 2019.

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