Ribbon – A Playful Gesture Designed to Evoke Communal Connection | The Urban Conga & Hive Public Space

Ribbon was designed as a transformative communal platform for people to connect, share, and learn each other’s versions of Long Island City.

Ribbon was designed by The Urban Conga in collaboration with Hive Public Space and the Long Island City Partnership.  Ribbon is a part of the LIC (Re)Connects art series produced by Hive PS as a way to evoke communal connection within a multitude of areas throughout Long Island City, NY.

Ribbon is just one component of an ecosystem of playful urban activations happening throughout the city, from murals to augmented reality experiences, all focused on reconnecting the community to one another. As we all begin to be reintroduced into social environments, we are becoming increasingly aware of the need for inclusive ways to reconnect with one another. Ribbon was developed as a temporary installation that looks at new ways of adapting existing spaces and infrastructure to become platforms for social interaction and communal activity through open-ended play design.

Ribbon acts as a playful gesture, wrapping around and framing out different moments throughout several pedestrian pathways and communal spaces within Long Island City. The piece begins to playfully disrupt one’s daily routine and encourages them to begin to look at their surrounding context in new ways. The flowing motion of the work acts like a piece of ribbon guiding you off your path and into areas you may not have explored previously.

The work becomes a series of timeless landmarks, always changing and responding to the people, the landscape, and the interactions between them, and sparking memorable experiences that keep encouraging people to come back and engage with the work, the surrounding spaces, and each other in new ways. The work steps off the pedestal and allows users to physically engage and manipulate the pieces by rotating each of the units attached to the main structure. As one begins to move the kinetic pieces, they begin to not only transform the work itself, but also manipulate the surrounding area through the work’s ability to reflect and refract light onto the built environment.

The units not only provide a filtered perspective of the space, but also contain love notes to Long Island City written by community members. These love notes are submitted by community members through a QR code on the ground at the site, and are added to the work over time. These love notes range from poems to motivational quotes written by the community and visitors, and become drivers for conversations within the space. Ribbon becomes a collaborative, communal platform existing in harmony with the surrounding context brought to life through the engagement of its users.

This project required coordination between The Urban Conga, Hive Public Space, several private businesses, NYC Parks and Recreation, Boyce Technologies, and the Long Island City Partnership to make it happen. The project was developed in modular forms to allow easy disassembly and the ability to be transported into another space within the city. As it travels around, it will continue to share the communities’ love notes provided in each area, and will display the various perceptions of the city and what it has provided for different community members.


Client: Long Island City Partnership and New York City Parks and Recreation

Year: 2021

Location: Long Island City, NY – USA

Project Size: 528 ft

Designers: The Urban Conga & Hive Public Spaces

Fabrication: Boyce Technologies

Photo credit: Savannah Lauren

About Damian Holmes 3148 Articles
Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at https://www.linkedin.com/in/damianholmes/