PEACE & QUIET
| TIMES SQUARE, NEW YORK CITY
Design and Fabrication
Installed November 11-16, 2012
Peace & Quiet was a temporary dialogue station where veterans and civilians—two wide ranging demographic groups, whose paths increasingly do not cross—could openly engage each other in conversation. Installed on the north end of Times Square starting Veteran's Day 2012, it was a tranquil place to meet, share stories, leave a note, or just shake hands.
Located far opposite the US Army recruiting station—the possible commencement point for arduous and dangerous journeys for those fortunate to return—the dialogue station engaged the women and men of the armed services in their re-entry into civilian life. Abstractly interpreted, the stations were intertwined portals, bracketing experiences the vast majority only hear of in the news; events at the forefront of our national identity and economy, and yet too often remote to those who do not—or dare not—enter these situations directly.
Times Square, arguably one of the world’s great public intersections, has an estimated 500,000 people passing through it everyday. It seemed an ideal circumstance (or mad challenge) to initiate and inform a poignant exchange of ideas, to will intimacy and critical thought in an instance of its opposite.
This project was initiated by MATTER in response to an open call for proposals from the Times Square Alliance (TSA) Public Art Program, and selected for installation out of nearly 400 applicants. We proposed this structure to house social dialogue as part of our interest in socially active design for the public realm. Development of the project led to collaborating with several organizations—each bridging the civilian/military divide through different portals—who hosted programming throughout the week of its duration. In this way the character of activity and experiences varied from day to day.
Matter project team
Sandra Wheeler, Alfred Zollinger, co-directors
Chelsea Crisafulli, John Brandes, Christopher Malloy, Samuel Weston
Jessica Barnhouse, Danae Colomer, Teresa Cacho, Luke Eddins,
Sarah Leenen, Robert Miller, Emily Mak, Takuya Toyama
StoryCorps, Pat Tillman Foundation and Tillman Military Scholars,
Code of Support Foundation, Socialgence, Brian Fernandes-Halloran
Hage Engineering PC
Station Graphics and Identity
Selected metal fabrication
Scott Thompson, Lawrence Winters—thank you!