Join The Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership + Van Alen Institute on November 22nd to Kick-Off ’23 Days of Holiday Cheer’ & Unveiling of ‘Interwoven’ by Atelier Cho Thompson

 

 

 

Interwoven Day. Image credit for Interwoven Renderings, Atelier Cho Thompson.

The Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership and Van Alen Institute will unveil the winner of the eighth annual Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design Competition: Interwoven, an interactive installation by design firm Atelier Cho Thompson. Interwoven will be on view November 22, 2021–January 2, 2022 in the Flatiron North Public Plaza on Broadway, Fifth Avenue, and 23rd Street, creating a highly visible landmark in the heart of Manhattan throughout the holidays.

Join the Flatiron 23rd Street Partnership and Van Alen Institute in a preview of its tenth annual “23 Days of Flatiron Cheer” and unveiling of Interwoven on Monday, November 22nd from 5:30 ~ 7:30pm on the Flatiron North Public Plaza, 23rd Street between Broadway and Fifth Avenue.  The festive event will feature remarks by organizers and Interwoven’s designers; live music from The Jazz Gallery; a raffle to win holiday gifts from local businesses and free hot beverages and small bites from local favorites Shake ShackFlatiron Plate, and Eataly. Attendees will receive NYC souvenirs gifted by Memories of New York while supplies last and can enter a raffle to win prizes from Center for Book ArtsHole in The WallGotham GlowProject GaiaScampi, and Taïm.

Interwoven Night Render. Image credit for Interwoven Renderings, Atelier Cho Thompson.

Since 2014, this annual competition has brought people together in public space through innovative design installations. Now, at the end of another year marked by isolation, the Flatiron Partnership and Van Alen Institute seek to strengthen community bonds with Interwoven. Inspired by New York’s tapestry of cultures and people, Interwoven celebrates the joys of reconnecting in public space. Its interactive archways are activated by color-coded sensors; when two or more people pass through sensors of the same color, Interwoven responds with corresponding lights and musical compositions by local artists inspired by the installation’s themes.

The installation’s interactive story wall, made of backlit papers hung on a grid, invites visitors to share responses to the prompt: “I dream of a world where together we can…” The resulting narratives will become a patchwork of voices documenting this challenging yet hopeful moment. The prompt was selected by Youth Fellows from the People’s Bus NYC, a community-led, intergenerational initiative focused on engaging people in NYC’s civic life through beauty and joy.

“One of our key tenets as a firm is that we can build community around design,” said Ming Thompson and Christina Cho Yoo, Co-Founders of Atelier Cho Thompson. “Interwoven highlights our fundamental desires to connect with each other through shared experiences and to celebrate our differences. Interwoven offers a platform for stories and dreams of our future.”

“Located at one of New York City’s most iconic intersections, the Flatiron North Plaza is the perfect setting forInterwoven, an installation that provides a powerful, yet playful reminder that human interaction is essential,” said James Mettham, Executive Director of the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership. “As we welcome New Yorkers and visitors to explore Interwoven this holiday season, we are proud to once again collaborate with Van Alen Institute on our tradition of presenting thought-provoking public art in Flatiron.”

“Interwoven‘s playful design unites us through joy,” said Deborah Marton, Executive Director of Van Alen Institute. “As part of Van Alen’s Public Realm R&D initiative — which celebrates the serendipity of connection and power of shared stories — we’re honored to collaborate again with the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership to test new ways to bring people together in one of NYC’s most iconic public spaces.”

Interwoven Vignette. Image credit for Interwoven Renderings, Atelier Cho Thompson.

Inspired by the dynamic geometry of intersections that form the Flatiron Building, Interwoven’s archways, hammock, and benches are constructed with a steel framing, netting, resin panels, and high-density cork. As a firm committed to sustainable design, Atelier Cho Thompson carefully selected Interwoven’s materials including its rapidly renewable cork and steel, a material made of mostly recycled content.

The project team includes in-kind sponsors MHA Engineering, Lam Partners, Indistinguishable from Magic, Hunter Douglas and 3form, LLI Architectural Lighting, EcoSupply, Fusion Optix, and Cadwell Signs. Grant funding was made possible by the Poise Bounce Back Grant for Women-Owned Businesses, Stand with Asian Americans / Asian Pacific Fund, and an anonymous donor. Fabrication and site installation will be completed by Smart Department Fabrication, Inc. After debuting Interwoven on the Flatiron North Public Plaza, the firm will partner with community organizations in New Haven, CT to bring the installation to a local public park.

Since its inception, the Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design Competition has been a platform for the Partnership and Van Alen Institute to deepen their connections with emerging designers, bring people together, and support inventive visions for an iconic urban plaza. Atelier Cho Thompson was selected by the Partnership and Van Alen Institute from a shortlist of three firms, each recommended by design experts in Van Alen’s network. The other shortlisted firms were AD-WO and Isometric Studio.

Nominations for the shortlisted firms were provided by Nina Cooke John, Founder and Principal of Studio Cooke John; Justin Garrett Moore, Program Officer, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; Mark Gardner, Principal, Jaklitsch/Gardner Architects; and Ashley Mendelsohn, Architecture Curator and Educator.

The installation is presented in partnership with the New York City Department of Transportation’s Temporary Art Program and will be open to the public daily, weather permitting. The Partnership is encouraging visitors to use #InterwovenFlatiron on Twitter and Instagram to share images of the installation.

Join the Flatiron 23rd Street Partnership and Van Alen Institute in a preview of its tenth annual “23 Days of Flatiron Cheer” and unveiling of Interwoven on Monday, November 22nd from 5:30 ~ 7:30pm on the Flatiron North Public Plaza, 23rd Street between Broadway and Fifth Avenue.  The festive event will feature remarks by organizers and Interwoven’s designers; live music from The Jazz Gallery; a raffle to win holiday gifts from local businesses and free hot beverages and small bites from local favorites Shake ShackFlatiron Plate, and Eataly. Attendees will receive NYC souvenirs gifted by Memories of New York while supplies last and can enter a raffle to win prizes from Center for Book ArtsHole in The WallGotham GlowProject GaiaScampi, and Taïm.

23 Days of Flatiron Cheer”—from Wednesday, December 1 to Tuesday, December 23—will feature digital deals and giveaways from local businesses, holiday meal-kit roundups from local restaurants, holiday-themed neighborhood walking tours, a Winter Solstice Celebration with MoMath on December 21, holiday carolers, and more. Details will be provided at the November 22 event.

Event attendees will be the first to experience Interwoven, the centerpiece of the “23 Days of Flatiron Cheer.” Interwoven is the winner of the eighth annual Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design Competition. Atelier Cho Thompson’s design was selected by the Flatiron Partnership and Van Alen Institute from a shortlist of designs by three firms, each recommended by design experts in Van Alen’s network.

Interwoven Axon. Image credit for Interwoven Renderings, Atelier Cho Thompson.

About the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership

The Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership, formed in 2006, is a nonprofit organization and Business Improvement District whose mission is to enhance the reputation of Flatiron and NoMad as two of New York’s most vital and exciting neighborhoods. This is accomplished by maintaining a clean and safe environment for the district’s businesses, residents and visitors; by spearheading area improvement projects; and by marketing the diverse business and retail options in this vibrant and historic neighborhood.

About Van Alen Institute

Van Alen Institute helps create equitable cities through inclusive design. In an equitable city, communities are engaged in the conception and creation of their built environment, regardless of income or personal circumstances. Community-driven decision-making builds resilience, social infrastructure, and ultimately, more just cities.

For 127 years, our purposeful community engagement, convening capacity, and global network have produced profound transformations in the public realm of New York City and beyond. With an interdisciplinary approach to design, the Van Alen team has backgrounds in architecture, arts and culture, civic advocacy, community engagement, preservation, and public policy.

About the NYC DOT Art Program 

The New York City Department of Transportation’s Art Program (DOT Art) partners with community-based, nonprofit organizations and professional artists to present temporary public art on NYC DOT property throughout the five boroughs for up to eleven months. Artists transform streets with colorful murals, dynamic projections and eye-catching sculptures. Sidewalks, fences, triangles, medians, bridges, jersey barriers, step streets, public plazas and pedestrianized spaces serve as canvases and foundations for temporary art. Over the past 12 years, DOT Art has produced over 300 temporary artworks citywide.

About Atelier Cho Thompson

Atelier Cho Thompson is a bi-coastal design and concept firm, working between the disciplines of architecture, interiors, graphics and design strategy. Founded seven years ago by Ming Thompson and Christina Cho Yoo, the firm has embarked on a number of ambitious goals: to design beautiful and functional projects around the globe, to deeply engage our community around design, to promote equity in architecture and beyond.

 

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