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Alexandra Heber

USA

Fashion Institute of Technology

Design Description

A story of believing in the future of redefining remote learning through visual communication in Washington Square Park, NYC.

“Stay Strong, New York,” news reports say, “This will pass.” Believe in the future of an unrestricted environment where your body’s mind, health, and lifestyle can run free.

Over the past few months of quarantine, I have been reminiscing in an attempt to disregard the current situation that confronts one of today’s real challenges, the future of education. As a New York City college student, I am continuing my educational career remotely. I began to appreciate this unique transition that allows me to still be able to take my classes from my bed, with my loved ones just a room away, and to not be afraid of what’s to come.

Manhattan, known as the concrete jungle, is also home to some iconic and historic parks. Washington Square Park is a diverse public park that attracts many people to the heart of Greenwich Village. Named after the first President of The United States, Washington Square Park is home to the well-known arch honoring George Washington. This triumphal arch represents a symbol of victory and frames a vista through the park to the south and up fifth avenue to the north. The symbolic monument attracts tourists and fellow New Yorkers like myself to appreciate the history within NYC. As an NYC college student, I am currently unable to visit and explore all the wonderful educational and inspirational opportunities in Manhattan including its parks.

As stay-at-home orders soften and people begin to repopulate the streets and parks of the city, including the hundreds of thousands of other students who attend school in NYC, especially nearby NYU, this arch stands as a beacon, a positive and hopeful symbol and a means for us to continue to learn as well as reconnect.

The product, GoTouch Beam, projects a virtual surface for individuals to display information and connect with others through visual communication technology. This visual exhibition space within Washington Square Park is designed to help New Yorkers move towards the proverbial "light at the end of the tunnel," As we come back together and transition to our new “normal” lifestyle.

The word “GO” is an action word directing individuals to GO into the future optimistically and to further engage with visual communication technology. As a unique way by which we will learn and collaborate while still being physically and safely distant. The "GO" sculpture is placed immediately under the arch representing a constructed restriction through which another obstacle is overcome. This should be a reminder to New Yorkers as the country begins to reopen, that there is no substitute for strength and resolve, all qualities we will continue to employ as we move to the future.

The global pandemic that the world has faced has called for society to embrace the opportunity to redefine learning remotely through visual communication. This Washington Square Park experiential space will enhance the possibilities of a new educational and lifestyle opportunity.

Designer(s)

Alexandra Heber

Alexandra HeberAlexandra Heber
Architects as Developers with Matthew Rosenberg

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