The Luminous Pathway in the Quartier des Spectacles has taken an important step forward with the illumination of the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) design centre and the Grande Bibliothèque belonging to Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ). Using new, permanent video-projection devices that make it possible to illuminate entire building façades, these new lighting designs are a testament to the significant creative potential of this ambitious urban-branding project.
With the help of powerful software by Montreal-based developer VYV, the new devices will provide an all-seasons interface between Quartier des Spectacles visitors and the exciting programming presented in this vibrant concentration of cultural venues. By adding these tools to those already available to Luminous Pathway artists, there is now a vast array of new possibilities for collaboration with designers. They will be able to use high-end equipment to present digital works that will, after dark, create outdoor reflections of the exciting cultural activities going on indoors.
For example, during the Norman Slater | Leçons de design exhibition taking place at the UQAM Centre de design until January 22, 2012, designer Emmanuel Mauriès Rinfret presents – right on the building’s façade – two video creations titled Anticipation 1 and 2, inspired by the iconography of the Montreal architect and designer. A few blocks away, Lucion Média’s designers present a series of colourfully animated abstract tableaux along de Maisonneuve Boulevard, ranging from digital auroras to dynamic cubes highlighting the view of a building, a symbolic reflection of the hive of ideas that is the Grande Bibliothèque.
“We have just taken a major step. We believe these permanent outdoor video projection systems to be unique in the world,” said Mikaël Charpin, assistant director and manager of the Luminous Path for the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership. “Creativity is nurtured by innovation, and to do research and development laboratories are needed. When it comes to architectural illumination in public spaces, there is no doubt: the Quartier des Spectacles gives Montreal the best possible laboratory,” Mr. Charpin added.
“The use of this cutting-edge technology for the Luminous Pathway allows us to provide excellent new exhibition opportunities for Montreal creators,” said Pierre Fortin, executive director of the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership. “Everyone wins, from the visitors who will enjoy our downtown’s exceptional cultural offerings, to the designers who will have the chance to experiment here before showing their discoveries to the world,” he added.
“During their visit to Montreal last spring for their annual meeting, the members of the Society for Environmental Graphic Design (SEGD) were amazed by the quality of the infrastructure dedicated to exhibition and creation in the Quartier des Spectacles. In addition to appreciating the open, fertile spirit of collaboration among public and private partners and the designers, they saw that collectively, we do not hesitate to support our talented creators, which is why Montreal was designated as a UNESCO City of Design,” said Helen Fotopulos, the Executive Committee member responsible for Culture, Heritage, Design and the Status of Women for the Ville de Montréal.
About the Luminous Pathway in the Quartier des Spectacles
Light is the essence of spectacle and a fount of knowledge, and it is at the very heart of the Quartier des Spectacles experience. As the signature expression of its visual and geographical identity, the Luminous Pathway connects the neighbourhood’s many cultural venues with a network that transforms the Quartier des Spectacles into a space for discovery and exploration. Light pours from the theatres and pulsates to the rhythm of cultural activities, giving an identity to the entire area and revealing its essence. It tells the public that something is going to happen. At a glance, people grasp Montreal’s wealth of cultural offerings.
Currently, the Luminous Pathway in the Quartier des Spectacles connects some 20 cultural venues and two public squares. The project is managed by the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership, and it is made possible by the financial support of the Ville de Montréal, the Ministère des Affaires municipales, des Régions et de l’Occupation du territoire du Québec, and the participating cultural venues. The artistic directors are Ruedi Baur and Jean Beaudoin of Intégral, and each lighting creation is the work of a different designer, such as Photonic Dreams, Lightemotion, Éclairage Public, Moment Factory, Alexis Laurence and, now, Lucion Média and Emmanuel Mauriès Rinfret. Axel Morgentaler of Photonic Dreams designed the signature lighting. Known for being innovative, environmentally friendly and cost-effective, the Luminous Pathway has won several Canadian and international awards, including the grand prize for excellence from the prestigious International Illumination Design Awards, and has been the subject of cover stories in a dozen specialized magazines around the world.