Social Spheres
Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Installation. NYC 2014
invited competition

e+i studio was one of seven New York design firms invited to participate in the first annual Flatiron Plaza competition presented by the Flatiron 23rd St Partnership Business Improvement District (BID) in collaboration with Van Alen Institute. “Social Spheres” captures the idea of public engagement and movement through a nebulous formation of proximity spheres that, join, merge, fuse and separate to create a landscape of different social possibilities where people gather and engage in various activities while also having their perception of the site reframed.
The installation is a morphing collection of spherical forms articulated horizontally and emerging from plaza-like steps that together provide varied ‘social-sphere’ zones: (1) casual seating and gathering, both exterior and interior to the spheres; (2) a charging station sphere with stepped seating around where people can plug in their devices; (3) an interior oculus sphere that frames the iconic buildings of the site (4) and zones for taking pictures of the area with the installation as a backdrop. The surfacing of the structure is created by a dense network of loosely hanging strips which can move to make visible the movement of wind and people. At night the interiors are lit with color light creating glowing effects with this shimmering skin. The physical interactivity affords a playful relationship between visitor and installation, while the compact mode of assembly, harnessing digital design and physical fabrication, ensures a sturdy installation able to withstand New York crowds.

Design: Eva Perez de Vega + Ian Gordon, partners
Client: Flatiron Partnership and Van Alen Institute