Archive for November, 2013

Heartwalk moves to Atlantic City

Last week Heartwalk reached its final destination overlooking the Atlantic Ocean on the oldest boardwalk in the country (opened in 1870) in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Heartwalk has traveled from its original home in Times Square as the winner of the annual Valentine’s Day Heart Design Competition, to Pearl Street Triangle near the waterfront in DUMBO, to Brooklyn to The Rockways in Queens before finding a permanent home in Atlantic City.


Heartwalk is installed near New York Ave. on the 4 mile long boardwalk.

After sundown Atlantic City gave Heartwalk a warm welcome at a Dedication Ceremony with glowsticks and candy for visitors of all ages, and a local band playing love songs.


Heartwalk draws inspiration from the collective experience of Hurricane Sandy and the love that binds the City’s citizens together during trying times. It is built entirely from wooden planks salvaged from New York and New Jersey boardwalks that were severely damaged by Hurricane and creates a space for visitors to gather and reflect on their experiences and possibly even discuss how to be better prepared for the future.

Heartwalk is the first of the Valentine’s Day Heart Design Competition winners to travel to several public spaces and be installed permanently. We are really grateful for everyone who has made Heartwalk and this journey possible.

You can browse and keep up with Heartwalk’s journey online on, a crowd-sourced Instagram gallery where all photos with the hashtag #Heartwalk and #HeartwalkAC are posted.




Situ Research: Division and Website Launch

Last week we launched Situ Research, a site dedicated to interdisciplinary design work that addresses urgent contemporary spatial issues. Over the past few years we have collaborated with human rights organizations, scientists, city planners and lawyers on vide range of projects, all collected on our new website

Situ Research associates McKenna Cole and Charles-Antoine Perrault share a few words about their investigations on two current research projects.


Deforestation patterns, militarization, and urban development in the Ixil territory are strongly correlated. This map illustrates how Guatemalan government’s “Model Village Program” participated in the destruction of Ixil people’s natural environment.

Charles is working on the investigation of a genocide case in Guatemala – A project undertaken in collaboration with Forensic Architecture and Paulo Tavares.  From March 1982 to August 1983, General Efraín Ríos Montt ruled the country with an iron fist during one of the bloodiest periods of its long civil war. Montt is now facing accusations of crime against humanity and genocide against Mayan groups before the National Court of Guatemala. Charles is producing a set of time-based maps and visualizations representing Rios Montt government’s intent to destroy a particular ethnic group. “Leveraging a broad range of evidentiary material (military logs, exhumation data, historical pictures, satellite images…), we reveal intersections between military operations, indiscriminate violence against civilian populations, systematic destruction and relocation of indigenous communities, and transformations in the urban and natural environment.” This work is intended to enter as evidence in Ríos Montt’s trial and will be integrated in a publicly accessible online geospatial platform.

Explore more Situ Research projects on Human Rights issues here


Image of PLUTO Dataset joined with building footprints translated into a 3d model of the Jackson Heights section of Queens.

McKenna is engaged in the development of the research for Uneven Growth: Tactical Urbanisms for Expanding Megacities a fourteen-month long workshop series culminating in exhibition at MoMA in November 2014. Situ is collaborating on this project with Cohabitation Strategies. Mckenna explains: “We’re reaching out to other practitioners, organizations and non-profits in the process of trying to formulate a clear understanding of the unevenness in New York City as it is physically manifested in disparate housing conditions, access to infrastructure, and policies at large. We’re analyzing and manipulating publicly available datasets to help us understand housing conditions on both a city-wide and neighborhood scale. Mapping and modeling are being used simultaneously in order to visualize the spatial implications of the data being used.”

Learn more about our participation in the first workshop at MoMA PS1 and keep an eye on the blog for updates as we visit Shenzhen & Hong Kong Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture in mid-December.

Explore past blog posts on Situ Research projects here

Design Lab: Sandbox Install

We’ve been journeying to Queens to begin installing Sandbox, the first of five new workshop spaces in Design Lab at the New York Hall of Science. The plywood cabinet desk with built-in storage is fabricated at our shop in the Brooklyn Navy Yard and installed on site, while the museum remains open to visitors.





Watch this video for a roundup of the design, fabrication and installation process of Sandbox:

To learn more about Design Lab and the four new workshop spaces, visit this page.

Structural engineering by Laufs Engineering Design (LED).

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