Musical Swings: Impact Study

6 December 2016

Collective experiences have the power to transcend learned behaviours that can prevent us from interacting with one another. Through its collaborative nature, the installation transforms unusual spaces into new living spaces for all. Over time, it creates new urban habits, stimulating a sense of belonging to the public space. Participants have repeatedly expressed a sense of pride in their city.

With precious help from the Knight Foundation, a third party evaluated the social and economical impact of the touring artwork in 3 US cities: Detroit, San José and West Palm Beach.



In each of the three cities studied, the Swings were a regional attraction, drawing between 35-56% from the host city and a total of 78-91% from their respective metropolitan areas.

An average of 293% Return On Investment was calculated for the host cities.

The study reports how collective experiences have the power to break down the social barriers that prevent us from interacting in public space. 

The cooperative nature of the installation transformed unusual and underused sites into thriving destinations that are welcoming for all. 

1 out of 3 participants reported interacting with a stranger.

Over time, new urban habits were adopted by the public, creating a new sense of ownership over the shared space. 

When asked about the Musical Swings, participants repeatedly testified to feeling renewed pride for their city.

Participants used the words happy, therapeutic, calming, peaceful, awesome to describe the experience. 

Download the impact study


21 Swings, Montreal, Canada, 2011. ©Daily tous les jours

Our newsletter is sent two or three times a year. Or maybe four? One can never know.