Come November, if you’re in Dublin and you want to catch up with a friend in New York, all you’ll have to do is stroll over to the Trinity College Dublin campus and access a portal that will instantly link you with a corresponding portal right under the Manhattan Bridge in Brooklyn.
This might sound like the start of an Irish American sci-fi adventure, but it’s actually an upcoming public installation designed by award-winning Irish architect Cathal Curtin.
The project, called Twin Space, will connect people in Dublin and New York with a full-sized screen, 24 hours a day.
"Our iPhones tell us we are connected, but we don't really feel it." Curtin said "These structures will literally allow people to high five from different sides of the planet."
Twin Space has the support of Trinity College Dublin, Dublin City Council and the NYC Department of Transportation / DUMBO BID, and the structures have been signed off for installation in both cities in November 2015.
In order to bring the project to fruition, Curtin and project manager Mark Quick must raise $225,000 more, and they have launched a crowd-funding campaign on Kickstarter, which ends July 24.
The audio visual portals were developed in partnership with global engineering firm Ove Arup. They feature a screen on one side and sculptural casing on the others. One of the donation rewards, for pledges of $22 or more, will see your name or the name of a friend engraved with a laser on the casing of one of the portals (you can choose between New York and Dublin).
"We were inspired by those bridges in Paris, where people inscribe their names or love messages on locks and attach them to the bridge" says project consultant Mark Quick "It is a sense of immortality, that the signature will remain forever where it Is written. We'll be engraving the names on the back of the objects with a laser, so they cannot ever be removed,” Quick said.
Since launching on June 23, the campaign has been named a Kickstarter Staff Pick.
The NYC site for Twin Spaces is near Pearl Street in Brooklyn, right under the arches of the Manhattan Bridge, while the Irish structure is to be sited in the historic Front Square at Trinity College Dublin.
"Two screens, one located in New York and the other in Dublin create a live audio visual link. Passers by notice the changing image, sound, sky, wind and weather in the linked place and on approach are able to chat to people over there," the project description reads.
"A chat including every nuance of body language, scale and eye contact, all missing in today’s technology. Twin Space proposes a new type of public infrastructure. To reunite people across distance in a day to day way, while offering a constant presence of the other place."
Would you visit one of the portals to catch up with a friend, or just to see what’s happening in either Dublin or New York at a given moment? Share your thoughts in the comment section, below.