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The winning entry in the city’s annual Valentine’s Day art contest, an enormous 3-D-printed lens, debuts this week.

It’s not quite as boffo as the dropping of the ball on New Year’s Eve, but in its 10 years, the Times Square Valentine Heart Design Competition—and the unveiling of the winning public artwork—has become one of New York City’s sweeter traditions.

The contest’s 2018 winner—called Window to the Heart—comes from the New York experimental design studio of Benjamin Aranda and Chris Lasch, and Brazilian artist Marcelo Coelho. The trio worked with 3-D-printing manufacturer Formlabs and structural engineering firm Laufs Engineering Design to create a giant Fresnel lens, 12 feet in diameter, with a heart-shaped red window in the middle. 

“Visitors can look through the window or photograph themselves within it, completing the loop between the lens of the eye and the lens of the camera,” notes the project’s curator, the Design Trust for Public Space. In other words: Instagram.

Window to the Heart debuts at 11 a.m. on February 1 in Father Duffy Square, at Broadway and Seventh Avenue between 46th and 47th Streets, where it will continue inspiring romance and social-media activity through the end of the month. #aww

>>Next: How to Visit Seattle’s Top Museums for Half the Price This February

 

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