Utopie ( Utopia )- 2020

Permanent public artwork for calder alley at parc jean-drapeau

interactive light installation
Aluminum, powder coat , digital LED lighting, Dmx controled
H : 9m | W : 40m | L : 120m






“The work evokes the idea of ​​a futuristic utopia: the vision of a connected, non-hierarchical future where human genius is put to the service of a common ideal that is built in symbiosis with the environment.”


UTOPIE (Utopia) is a public artwork designed specifically for the Allée Calder in Montréal’s Parc Jean Drapeau. Using motion-sensor responsive lighting, this interactive installation reveals itself in both daytime and nighttime modes, thoughtfully arranged to make a large-scale impact while respecting the pre-existing architectural and landscape elements of the surrounding site. At night, UTOPIE uses motion sensors to detect the presence of visitors in this publicly accessible part of the city park, such that the shapes and direction of the work changes in real-time : passersby influence the movement of the light installation by their very presence and movements.

The structure of the installation is arranged to echo the geometry of the iconic Expo 67 Biosphere, partially visible in the background from the Parc Jean Drapeau site, and as such, this artwork functions partly as an homage to Buckminster Fuller’s work. One of the principles of a geodesic dome is that it occupies maximal space with minimal materials required for its construction. Culling from the same principle, UTOPIE is comprised of multiple negative spaces that frame visitors’ points of view as they walk around the site. These array of framing devices are made of primary yellow linear structures that emit a warm light at twilight and nighttime. Embedded lighting becomes activated according to signals conveyed to the electronic motion sensors intrinsic to the work. The patterns of light reactivity in the array varies from random to organic, according to the perspective, pace and location of any visitor’s path through the site.


Collaborators :

Fabricator : Ludovic Boney
Fabrication drawing : Jean-François Lahos, DR Design
Engineering : Concept Paradesign, SNC Lavalin
Electrotechnical et programming : Thomas Ouellet Fredericks, Pierre Gaudet, Marc Desjardins
Studio and site assistants : Asa Perlman, Josée Brouillard, Nicolas Laverdière, Léo Rivest, Anis Ait Ait Oudhia, Grégory Pérrin
Control panel : Alliance Contrôle, Custom Métal
lighting integration : Josée Brouillard, Asa Perlman, Ghislain Brodeur
Documentation : Alexis Bellavance, Jean-François Robin
General contractor : Construction PRV
Électrician : Larochelle Électrique
Extruded aluminium : Almag Aluminium
Lens : Lumentruss
Peinture : XTM Powder coating


L’idée du Nord ( the idea of north ) – 2020 | Utopie ( Utopia )- 2020 | Le spectre des lumières ( The Spectrum of Enlightenment ) – 2019 | Lux Obscura – 2017 | LOOP – 2016 | Les chargeurs de potentiel ( Potential Chargers )- 2016 | Le Grand Bleu du Nord ( the great northern blue ) – 2015 | Organicus – 2011 | Life Saver – 2014 | Sérénade – 2012 | Être bien encadré ( Well framed ) – 2013 | Longueur d’onde ( Wavelength ) – 2011 | Mouvement de masse ( Mass Movement ) – 2010 | Faire la vague ( Do The Wave ) – 2009 |