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Times Square Design Lab debuts with 5 pieces of quirky street furniture

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The inaugural exhibit brings functional pieces to chaotic Times Square

“Drop Sign” sign holder by Louis Lim.
Photos by Craig LeCourt

For the next couple of weeks, there’ll actually be a good reason to go to Times Square: Five new interactive sculptures have debuted at the southern end of the Times Square Plaza, where Broadway meets 42nd Street. The Times Square Alliance has dubbed this area the Times Square Design Lab, and is unveiling the pieces in conjunction with the city’s annual celebration of of design, NYCxDESIGN.

For this project, the Times Square Alliance commissioned five artists to create sculptures that would provide seating, wayfinding signage, and other useful functions amid the hustle and bustle of Times Square; the pieces also act as a counterpoint to the area’s flashy billboards.

Each piece achieves those goals in different ways. Joe Doucet’s “The Village,” for example, offers seating in pods that are meant to resemble houses. Brad Ascalon’s “Island Collection,” meanwhile, is another space for people to sit, but has a very different look; modular cubes and planters create more of a homey, cozy spot amid the chaos of the area.

Another piece, “Title Wave” by Hive Public Space, will sit close to the Strand Bookstore kiosk near 43rd Street in the future—and echo the shop by the bookshelves that are weaved into its design.

The pieces will be on view throughout NYCxDesign’s run, through May 23—check them out while you can.

“The Village” seating by Joe Doucet.
“Island Collection” seating by Brad Ascalon.
“Re: Post” sign holder by DYAD.
“Title Wave” book case by Hive Public Space.