Par Caroline Deforges
The design competition of movable street furniture elements for use by festivals was commissioned by the design entity of the City of Montreal, Design Montréal, on behalf of the Bureau des festivals et des événements culturels, Ville de Montréal, in collaboration with the Quartier international de Montréal and thePartenariat du Quartier des spectacles. This competition was launched to support Montreal’s UNESCO City of Design title, but also in the context of the revitalization of the Quartier des spectacles. There were three main elements to design: leverage elements, visual display support and crowd control.
Signature design communication, in collaboration with Morelli Designers, approached this project with the intention of creating functional furniture pieces that would be easy to handle for the users and that could also secure, facilitate and enhance the experience of participants and festival-goers in the Quartier des spectacles. Moreover, the furniture we created, in our opinion, had to blend with the aesthetics of the Quartier des spectacles while having its own identity.
Echoing the predominating visual signature in the design elements of the Place des Festivals, we developed a system of modular concrete leverage blocks, visually reduced in volume by a diagonal opening. This material was chosen not only for its visual relationship with the materials of the site (white granite, mineral ground surface), but also for its ease of moulding and low cost compared with the anticipated volume of production. The blocks thus created can be stacked and attached to each other, allowing for installation of anchor cables or bolting plates. The blocks are free of sharp edges. They are mounted on rubber pads that serve as reference when stacking to avoid damaging the surface of the site.
The blocks can be levelled and manipulated using existing equipment operated the city. Their maintenance is easy, and their replacement cost, minimal. In addition to their basic function of leveraging, the blocks will accommodate additional accessories such as planters, flower boxes, benches or “Jersey” fences.
The support for information and promotion display has been designed in such a way that it allows easy attachment of multiple pieces of stage equipment or signage, while remaining in harmony with the surroundings.
As for the crowd control system, it has a visual language that is better integrated to the site and other movable elements. Additional support brackets have been integrated and designed to accommodate banners or signage elements. The two legs design allows greater flexibility according to the site condition where the crowd control fences must be used.