21 Balançoires (21 Swings)

Quartier des spectacles, Montréal, CA

Musical Swings is an urban interactive installation that stimulates human connections in public spaces. Imagined as a collective experience, the work invites people of all ages and backgrounds to make music together. It’s an intuitive game, where cooperation between participants unlocks secret melodies, encouraging collaboration and an active awareness of others.  

The Musical Swings in Montreal

Created in 2011, the installation has become a celebrated icon of Montreal’s entertainment district, returning seasonally every spring. As a result of its success, a touring version of the Musical Swings was created and has been travelling the world, receiving a number of international awards and recognitions. A new permanent version of the work is also available for cities around the world.

A living piece of art

Oprah Winfrey

The Project

  1. Each swing triggers notes from a classical instruments: piano, guitar, harp and vibraphone. A color code indicates which instrument is played and invites the public to try different seats.
  2. The interactive soundtrack is inspired by the pendulum. The higher the swing, the higher the note.
  3. When the swings move together in unison, they create a musical composition through which unique melodies can emerge if participants cooperate.
  4. The gentle, kinetic quality of the acoustic sounds blends seamlessly into the urban environment.

Rewarding Cooperation

Cooperation is rewarded when participants swing in synchronicity; triggering secret, more complex, melodies. This collaborative exercise encourages intuitive play and experimentation without requiring any musical knowledge, allowing the public to become co-authors of a constantly evolving composition.

Studying Cooperation

To develop the interactivity of the project, Daily studied the concept of cooperation with Luc-Alain Giraldeau, biology professor, expert on animal behavior and Director General of the INRS: “Cooperation emerges when the behaviour of each individual depends on the decisions of the rest of the group: it’s a game where, from the start, you need to adjust to the actions of others.”

Musical Bodies

Participants reported feeling like they were making music with their entire bodies;  surrendering themselves unexpectedly to this collective performance, almost as if by magic!

21 Swings: A Springtime Ritual in Montreal

21 Swings was conceptualized in 2011 for Montreal’s Quartier des spectacles, marking the end of significant revitalization efforts in the downtown area. Year after year, the installation has been a meeting point for millions of fans, who swung more than 8 500 times everyday.

Best in Show
Interaction Design Awards (IxDA)

Grand Prize
UNESCO Creative Cities Design Awards

Knight Cities Challenge for Civic Innovation

The swings are a joyful experience, their rhythms create melodies through technology and cooperation, almost as if by magic. The experience is transcendent.

Ryan Steadman, ArtDesk Magazine

A Transformed City

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 transforms unusual and underused sites into thriving destinations that are welcoming for all. Over time, new urban habits are adopted by the public, creating a new sense of ownership over the shared space. When asked about the Musical Swings, participants have repeatedly testified to feeling renewed pride for their city.


Impact Study

For the Musical Swings 2016 tour in the United States, Daily commissioned an independent study to analyze the economic and social impact of the temporary installation. The following are some highlights from the report.

* Study conducted during the 2016 US Tour: West Palm Beach, Florida; Detroit, Michigan; San José, California. With the support of the Knight Foundation.

  • 156visitors per hour
  • 226 500 visits in 3 weeks
  • 4 498 000 $ economic impact over a period of 19 weeks
  • 293% of return on investment

Awards and Recognitions

  • Grand Prize UNESCO Shenzhen Design Award
  • Knight Cities Challenge
  • Global Innovators Prize Creators Project
  • Oprah’s OWN
  • FRAME Magazine
  • Dezeen Interaction Awards
  • Creators Project
  • DesignBoom
  • Dezeen
  • Vimeo
  • This is Colossal
  • Best in Show IxDA Interaction Awards
  • Vimeo Staff Pick
  • Fast Company Innovation by Design Award


    • A project by Daily tous les jours
    • Created and produced with support from Quartier des spectacles in Montreal
  • Creative Direction
    • Mouna Andraos
    • Melissa Mongiat
  • Executive Producer
    • Hugues Monfroy (2011)
    • Antoine Clayette (2012)
  • Music
    • Radwan Ghazi Moumneh
  • Concept Team
    • Dominique Côté
    • Alexandre Landry
    • Yolène Leroux
    • Luc-Alain Giraldeau

  • Design
    • Sébastien Dallaire
    • Alexandre Landry
  • Technical Direction
    • Eva Schindling
  • Production Coordinator
    • Tara DeSimone
  • Production
    • Paul Bailly
    • Michael Baker
    • Mourad Bennacer
    • Thibeault Bensa
    • Olivier Coquet
    • Nicolas Duvieusart Dery
    • Élise Genvrin
    • Sophie Grignart
    • Luc Hernandez
    • David Lortie
    • Albane Guy
    • Ricardo Jean
    • Yolène Leroux
    • Étienne Lemieux Maillé
    • Benoît Piccolini
    • Peter Rockwell
    • Alexandra Sawicki
  • Technological Partner
    • ESKI
  • Technical Direction
    • Vincent Leclerc

  • Project Manager
    • Josiane Mercier

  • Programming
    • Patrick Keroulas
    • Vincent de Belleval

  • Production
    • Marc-André Tessier
    • Philippe Savard
  • Video
    • Geoffrey Boulangé
  • Photo
    • Olivier Blouin
  • Powered with the help of
    • Max/MSP
    • Arduino IDE
    • Firmware Razor AHRS

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