Art + Culture

Match-Maker Brings Cosmic Love Connections to DUMBO


Can a sculpture act as a dating service? DUMBO is about to find out! The DUMBO Improvement District and Young Projects, in partnership with the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT), are proud to announce the installation of Match-Maker, a zodiac-inspired public art piece, in the Archway under the Manhattan Bridge in Brooklyn now through May 14.

Here’s how Match-Maker works: guided by their zodiac signs, visitors arrange themselves at twelve points around the heart-shaped sculpture. Peering through colorful, interwoven periscopes provides glimpses of each viewer’s four most ideal astrological mates, offering potentially novel connections between lonely souls or settled lovers. The form of the sculpture is elusive, complex and symmetrical, and changes as viewers experience it from different vantage points.  From many points of view it forms a perfect and iconic heart; from other perspectives it is tangled and perplexing.

Created by Young Projects, a DUMBO-based design studio, Match-Maker was originally commissioned for the Times Square Valentine Heart Design Competition, where it greeted thousands of visitors last month. The piece has been relocated to DUMBO for the spring and will be a public art highlight of BKLYN DESIGNS, DUMBO’s annual exhibition of furnishings, lighting and home accessories crafted by Brooklyn-based designers May 9-11.

“We are thrilled to host Match-Maker,” said Alexandria Sica, Executive Director of the DUMBO Improvement District. “We love to showcase local talent in our plazas. DUMBO’s public spaces are all about community connections and if this art can spark some real-life romance, even better!”

“I can tell you from personal experience, there is such a thing as love at first sight!” said Bryan Young, Principal of Young Projects. “In an era of digital communication, our design takes a decidedly analog approach to viscerally connect strangers and reaffirm compatibility between old partners.  With Match-Maker, you don’t need to create a user profile or log-in online. You simply walk up to your star-sign station and look into one of four periscopes, which will connect you to your astrologically compatible mate.”

And DUMBO’s architects apparently have a lot of love to share: this is the second year in a row that a local firm has won the juried Times Square Valentine Heart Design Competition.  Last year Situ Studio won with Heartwalk, a glowing 30-ft installation made from Sandy-salvaged boardwalk wood, that was relocated to DUMBO’s Pearl Street Triangle in Spring 2013 and has since found a permanent home on the Atlantic City boardwalk.



For high-resolution images, click here.

Special thanks to the Times Square Alliance and the Van Alen Institute for hosting the initial installation of the project in Times Square. Match-Maker was constructed in collaboration with Brooklyn-based fabricator Kammetal with support from graphic designer Dungjai, lighting consultancy Lighting Workshop, and structural engineers Robert Silman Associates.

About Young Projects:

Bryan Young founded the Brooklyn design studio Young Projects in 2010. The studio produces multidisciplinary work ranging from architecture and interiors to furniture and art. Current projects include a private retreat in the Dominican Republic; multiple penthouse, apartment, and townhouse renovations; single family residences in the Hudson Valley and the Hamptons; and commercial retail in NYC. Young was a recipient of the Architectural League Prize for 2013.

Bryan Young received his Master of Architecture with distinction from Harvard University in 2003. At Harvard, he was awarded the AIA Henry Adams Medal for highest academic achievement and the James Templeton Kelley Thesis Prize. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Architecture with highest honors from the University of California, Berkeley. Young currently teaches graduate design studios at Parsons and MIT (spring 2014). Young previously taught at Columbia University and Syracuse University. He has been an invited design juror at universities including Harvard, Yale, Cooper Union, RISD, and Pratt.

For more information, visit

About NYC Department of Transportation Art Program:

Launched in October 2008, the New York City Department of Transportation’s Art Program invigorates the City’s streetscapes with engaging temporary art installations. The Program partners with community-based organizations and artists to present murals, sculptures, projections, and performances on plazas, fences, barriers, bridges, and sidewalks for up to 11 months. Projects are presented within three program tracks: pARTners, Barrier Beautification, and Arterventions. For more information, visit

About DUMBO Improvement District:

Founded in 2006, the DUMBO Improvement District is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing and promoting DUMBO, Brooklyn.  The DUMBO Improvement District showcases DUMBO as a world-class destination, advocates on behalf of DUMBO’s businesses, property owners and residents, and provides neighborhood services and amenities that help foster DUMBO’s creative and innovative vibe. For more information, visit

About the Archway under the Manhattan Bridge:

One of New York City’s most majestic public plaza spaces, the Archway under the Manhattan Bridge is located on Water Street between Anchorage Place and Adam Street. The space features public art, free WiFi and a range of community programming.