Two installations by Daily tous les jours in Cambridge, Ontario’s Gaslight District turn greetings and movements into artistic melodies

Sensory Overload

Two installations by Daily tous les jours in Cambridge, Ontario’s Gaslight District turn greetings and movements into artistic melodies

Hello Hello greets the visitors of the Gaslight District in Cambridge, Ontario. (doublespace)

Hello, Hola, and Bonjour: Two new interactive artworks welcome visitors to the Gaslight District in Cambridge, Ontario. Montreal-based art and design studio Daily tous les jours has turned day-to-day actions like footsteps and speaking into art with their installations Hello Hello and River Lines.

The Gaslight District is a previously uninhabited riverside neighborhood in Galt, revitalized by local developer HIP Development. The district’s name is an ode to its industrial past and a reference to the Galt Gas Light Company whose gas lamps illuminated the city’s streets in the 19th century. Though the region previously housed industrial ventures, it now focuses on technology and is also home to the University of Waterloo.

The public space is on the site of a 19th-century foundry, now turned into a gathering space for community members since its opening in July of last year. To cultivate a sense of community where there was none is no easy task, however, in the case of the Gaslight District all it took was a greeting.

a microphone tube that reads the word "hello" with a luminescent background
Hello Hello’s microphones encourage passersby to create a melody with their greeting messages. (doublespace)

“The first step to community building is saying “hello”, and yet with society’s shift to online interaction, we are forgetting how important it is to greet each other and connect in person,” Daily tous les jours cofounders Mouna Andraos and Melissa Mongiat said in a project description.

At the district’s entrance stands Hello Hello, an approximately 42-foot-tall luminescent arch. The illuminated rods nearly perfectly frame the sculpted facade of the building directly behind the installation. The building’s glazing reflects light and relays the movement of clouds. At its base, Hello Hello hosts three microphones, inviting visitors and passersby to deliver a welcoming message. As these sounds transmit through the arch, colorful lights follow. The designers have likened this audiovisual experience to a game of Telephone, wherein participants pass along a message to other players with the message eventually changing by the time it reaches the last person. When multiple voices are spoken into the installation at once it results in a harmonic tone.

River Lines’s interactive musical pavement allows visitors to partake in a symphony through movement. (doublespace)

The other interactive installation focused on movement rather than voice is situated at the entrance of the district’s open plaza venue. River Lines is an “interactive musical pavement” with embedded circular sensors installed in front of a large screen. When visitors step on the board laid over the pavement sensors light up to produce a harmonious melody. As participants move around the board, their actions are tracked on the screen, which offers suggestions on where to set their feet next.


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Insisting on the importance of social interactions to harness local pride, the Gaslight District’s new artworks generate a collaborative gathering space through myriad sensory experiences. Scott Higgins, President of HIP Developments, said, “using music, light, and imagination, Hello Hello and River Lines play an integral role in the revitalization and revival of the district, transforming it into a place of social interaction and play for urban dwellers.”