An Urban Forest in the Asphalt Jungle

If you’ll be in Times Square anytime between September 1st and October 31st, you’ll likely see 185 new banners flapping around in the wind. They’ve been put there as part of Design Times Square: The Urban Forest Project. And if you find yourself drawn to one, after the 31st, each and every banner will be made into a tote bag and you’ll be able to bid on it for a charity that gives money toward visual arts scholarships. How’s all that for cool? Here’s the scoop:

Design Times Square: The Urban Forest Project brings 185 banners created by the world’s most celebrated designers, artists, photographers and illustrators to New York’s Times Square. Each banner uses the form of the tree, or a metaphor for the tree, to make a powerful visual statement. Together they create a forest of thought-provoking images at one of the world’s busiest, most energetic, and emphatically urban intersections. Following their display, (September 1-October 31, 2006) the banners will be recycled into tote bags and sold at auction, with proceeds going to scholarship and mentoring programs that benefit students of the visual arts. Some banners embody visceral responses to pressing environmental, political and social issues. Others use the evocative power of nature to develop rich patterns and abstract forms that delight the viewer. All contain passion, thought, and energy-qualities that only emerge when the world’s finest creative minds apply themselves to a brief they truly believe in.