South Bend, Indiana, US

A sculptural series of interactive, slowly rocking benches compose gentle music and encourage synced up choreographies. Conceived to create a ritual around a moment of pause in the urban realm, the artwork stimulates a communal experience in a soothing soundscape.

A first set of Daydreamer was installed in the city of South Bend (US) as part of revitalization efforts to reconnect citizens to their riverfront. The artwork creates a new space for social connection, a suspended collective moment to take in the natural landscape.

Can cities be built for collective daydreaming?

Daydreamer reinvents the public bench by encouraging slow, rocking, synchronous motions to bring a therapeutic quality to public space. Rocking is known to induce a state of daydreaming, reducing stress and anxiety, while synchronous activity, according to different studies, strengthens social attachment and empathy among a group well beyond the moment of coming together.

Components, Interaction

A set of revolving long benches host a sound and sensing system. Each bench accommodates up to four people, finished in Canadian white oak, with a powder-coated aluminum arch. Interactive LED lights are integrated in the arch and under the seat to emphasize movement.

When people sit and push the benches to rock or spin, music and light animations are triggered through motion detection, merging analog and digital movements. The benches rock in four quarters, or rotate 360˚ with a bit more push from the user. People may sit on the bench or hold the arch from a standing position, or from a wheelchair, to make music. No matter how people play, the mechanism inside the benches’ pivot center ensures the motion is slow.

Voices, Collaboration

All the sounds of Daydreamer are recordings of the human voice. The notes that are sung depend on the benches’ position and direction of travel. Volume is dictated by the speed of movement. By mapping multiple musical parameters to different physical states, a strong gestural link is created between body movement and music. Each bench occupies a slightly different musical register; soprano, alto and tenor. Voices sing more complex partitions when benches are moved in synchronicity to encourage collaboration between players. The ensemble is an evolutive tapestry of tension, release, motion and stillness.

Diversity, Inclusion

The artwork aims to create inclusive and diverse social spaces. Very slow bench rotations makes for safe playing for elders and children alike. The bench can be turned by holding the arch, easing the music making exercise for those on wheelchairs. A resulting soft spectacle mixing sound, movement and light offers sensory diversity in a soothing manner. Daydreamer stimulates a wide range of informal connections by inviting a very wide audience to make play, explore and connect, through joy.

« Daydreamer places a chorus of deep hums and light song in a park, emanating from a trio of lit arches, hovering at each end above the ground, as if floating. The harmonies created on the spinning, singing benches in Indiana are designed to connect people in public spaces. »

— Wallpaper Magazine

Awards and Recognitions

  • HUB Montreal Award - BEST in Public Art
  • Prix Numix - Best In Situ Installation
  • Wallpaper* Magazine : Daily tous les jours imagines a world where public play is commonplace with Daydreamer
  • ICON magazine : The contemporary benches combine music, light and design for a collective experience in public spaces
  • Monocle : Daily Tous les Jours aims to give residents in South Bend, Indiana, a reason to stay on its snowy streets.
  • Design Milk : Meant to help create a moment of pause in busy public spaces, Daydreamer encourages a communal experience through its calming soundscape.


    • Commissioned by South Bend Venues Parks & Arts.
    • A Project by Daily tous les jours
  • Creative Direction
    • Mouna Andraos
    • Melissa Mongiat
  • Creative Team
    • Michael Baker
    • Michael Carosello
    • Cécile Chandran
    • Ajmir Kandola
    • Anne Ouellette
    • Magalie Rouleau
    • Eva Schindling
    • Steven Steffen
    • Rebecca Taylor
    • Pierre Thirion
  • Sound Direction
    • Michael Baker
  • Technological Direction
    • Eva Schindling
  • Technical Direction
    • Mathieu Frenette
  • Production
    • Justine Jacob-Roy
  • Production Coordination
    • Sarah James
  • Industrial Design
    • Generique Design
  • Design Consulting
    • SSSVLL
  • Manufacturing and assembly
    • Generique Design
    • Paul de Block
    • Mesure
  • Installation
    • Acorn Landscaping, LLC
    • Michiana Contracting
    • Sinclair Recreation, LLC
  • Engineering
    • Yetiweurks
    • Concept Paradesign
  • Photography
    • Qure Agency
    • Leah Trib Productions
  • Communication
    • Mehdi Kerrit
  • Thank you
    • Aaron Perri, Patrick Sherman, Jonathon Geels. Peter Kells, Florian Semlitsch, Robert Frenette, Tobie Horswill (Art&D), Caroline Gueugnon, Yako. l’équipe Daily: Aurélien, Christophe, Leyla, Noémie, Rafine, Renaud, Stu. Leyl, Sama, Léon, Antoine and Zakaria.
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