Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Quartier des spectacles exploring projected urban markings

Montreal's new 'Quartier des spectacles' as part of their lighting plan is exploring the use of a projection system to create sidewalk "markings" for urban signage and expressing identity (see video above).

Produced as part of Montreal's annual Nuit Blanche (All-Nighter), the pilot reinforced the brand image of this cultural heart of the city by combining light and graphics.

The system allowed for pedestrians crossing the intersection of Sainte-Catherine and Saint-Denis streets to be informed of the direction of the main venues nearby, in addition to designating the entertainment district.

The preliminary installation, still at an evaluation stage, consisted of projectors suspended from lighting towers and was equipped with sensors that allow synchronization with the traffic lights at the intersection. The projections were activated only on the areas considered "open" to pedestrians, highlighting it more clearly and becoming a unique way to show visitors the abundance of creativity at the Quartier des spectacles from Montreal's main artery: Sainte-Catherine Street.

This pilot project was conducted in collaboration with the City of Montreal, the Bureau des festivals et des événements, the Police Service (SPVM) and experts in traffic. Artistic direction was by Ruedi Baur and Jean Beaudoin of Intégral.

As an aside, the 2010 Nuit Blanche also featured a lot of other urban or building projections as highlighted in the videos below. One that I found interesting (but doesn't seem to be in the videos even though the particular building is) was one where participants were able to move a sort of projected virtual "shroud" using a giant multi-touch table.

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