River Lines

Gaslight District, Cambridge, CA

Orchestral maneuvers in the square—an interactive pavement turns a new public plaza into the stage for one big impromptu musical ensemble.

Anchoring the publicly accessible courtyard of a new mixed-use development called the Gaslight District, a wave-patterned pavement embedded with 62 light rings and sensors becomes a joyful exercise in musical collaboration.

Set only a short distance away from the Grand River, River Lines shifts the city’s attention back to its long neglected waterfront, its design and musical score highlighting how for more than a century the river has been central to the rhythms of community life.

Musical interaction prototype


With different instrument sections (kalimba, piano, guitar, kora, harp, violin) assigned to positions across the pavement’s surface, players connect the dots to create arpeggiated clusters of notes that harmonize along with the playing of others to create one rich tapestry of music.



A large screen overlooking River Lines plots the players’ movements on an animated map for everyone watching. Constellations of sensor units in use appear in real time, visualising interactions.

Keeping the site a multi-functional space was a key consideration when designing River Lines. For concerts, movie nights, the artwork is turned off, and the screen is repurposed.

Audio tiles

Music emanates from the ground as if by magic. Twelve in-house tailored audio tiles were developed to have no visible hardware and blend into the pavement pattern. Their design is created for Daily tous les jours’ Musical Pavement series, with a design that resists outdoor conditions and is suitable for permanent installation. Form and texture is adapted to fit the narrative of each edition.

Gaslight District

River Lines is one of two Daily tous les jours pieces commissioned for the Gaslight District by HIP Developments, as part of their vision for “Joy Experiments”—interventions designed to foster community through play.

The Gaslight District is a mixed-use development built on the site of a 19th century foundry that was the engine for much of the region’s early industrialization, when the historic centre of Galt (now part of Cambridge) was known as “the Manchester of Canada.” Today the region’s industry leans more high tech, with manufacturing in technologies like robotics and satellites, while also being home to the University of Waterloo, one of Canada’s leading institutions for advanced scientific research.

For the team at HIP Developments, all proud Cambridge locals, the district is something of a legacy project, an ambitious effort to revitalize their historic downtown and make it a place of connection and culture for the larger community, embracing more progressive ideas about urban development. Installed at one end of the Gaslight’s inner courtyard—a multi-purpose event space that is also the city’s largest public plaza—River Lines tells a story in which the city’s past and present overlap, using the river and floodline as our thread.

Awards and Recognitions

  • Prix Numix - Installation In Situ


    • Commissioned by HIP Developments
    • A Project by Daily tous les jours
  • Creative Direction
    • Mouna Andraos
    • Melissa Mongiat
  • Creative Team
    • Michael Carosello
    • Anne Ouellette
    • Magalie Rouleau
    • Florence Peters
    • Pierre Thirion
    • Rebecca Taylor
    • Zoe Roux
  • Sound Direction
    • Michael Baker
  • Technological Direction
    • Eva Schindling
    • Renaud Vincent
  • Technical Direction
    • Eric Villeneuve
    • Mathieu Frenette
  • Production
    • Stu Wershof
  • Production Coordination
    • Sarah James
  • Copywriting
    • No Media
  • Industrial Design
    • Dikini / Philippe Carreau
  • Fabrication
    • Atelier Papineau
  • Installation
    • Karjama Installations
  • Photography
    • doublespace photography
  • Thank you
    • Scott Higgins, Paul Kalbfleisch, Randy Renouf, Michael Ormstrong-Holloway, Jason Martin, Andrew Vlcek, Michelle Martin, Andrew Bousfield, Joel Doherty, CVG Consulting, Hardscape Concrete, The Planning Partnership, Melloul Blamey Construction, Gregory Perrin, and all of the Daily tous les jours team.

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