Interactive installation to set up in Flatiron District for the holiday season

The Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership and Van Alen Institute announced the winner of the annual Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design Competition.

The design firm Atelier Cho Thompson won the competition Interwoven, an interactive installation that celebrates the joys of reconnecting in public space. The installation will be on display at the Flatiron North Public Plaza on Broadway, Fifth Avenue, and 23rd Street from Nov. 22, 2021 through Jan. 2, 2022.

“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.”

Rendering courtesy of Atelier Cho Thompson

“Located at one of New York City’s most iconic intersections, the Flatiron North Plaza is the perfect setting for Interwoven, 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.”

Inspired by New York’s tapestry of cultures and people, Interwoven is an interactive experience made of backlit papers hung on a grid, which aims to invite visitors to share responses to the prompt: “I dream of a world where together we can…” The results will produce a patchwork of voices documenting that challenging yet hopeful moment. The prompt was selected by Youth Fellows from the People’s Bus NYC.

The installation has archways that are activated by color-coded sensors. When two or more people pass through sensors that are the same color, the installation displays corresponding lights and musical compositions by local artists inspired by the installation’s themes. Interwoven was inspired by the Flatiron building and the installation’s archways, hammock, and benches are constructed with a steel framing, netting, resin panels, and high-density cork.

Rendering courtesy of Atelier Cho Thompson

“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.”

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.

Interwoven 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. Visitors are encouraged to use #InterwovenFlatiron on Twitter and Instagram to share images of the installation.

Rendering courtesy of Atelier Cho Thompson