Socially Engineering Love

We all have a heart, but what if you saw the heart symbol everywhere around a city. Would it remind you to be kinder and more loving, change your mood or perception of a city?

This question started a social engineering project – The Secret Love Project – by Michael Elion in the City of Cape Town. “Spawned from the curiosity of just how art and symbols can affect the collective consciousness of an entire city.
The heart shape has become an unambiguous symbol of love across the world. It signifies a feeling, represents a mode of perception and is aligned with positive emotional content.

This World Design Capital initiative operates subliminally, but at a conscious level it’s a giant collaboration with a feel-good factor for anyone and everyone who believes in the simple idea of sharing and spreading love. Sticking a heart to your car, office window, post-box or front door is simply saying “I like the idea of love in the world and I want to share it!”

Every heart sticker forms part of the artwork, and the artwork itself is a collective feeling, an emotional reaction that this particular shape elicits. If there is any doubt in the validity of the claim of the visual influence of symbols on our consciousness just imagine changing the hearts to swastikas or to the word “hate” and sticking those all over town.
The Secret Love Project is an exercise in demonstrating the positive power of symbols (visual language) in human thought and behaviour.”

Elion is also responsible for the super large glasses sculpture on Cape Town’s Sea Point Promenade.

A note on the design: this particular heart shape was designed by Elion to have sexy curves!
“God is in the detail!” …

Heart image and comments courtesy from SecretLoveProject, additional image courtesy of FireflyAfrica.

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