Detroit’s Campus Martius is swinging to the music
Created by Canadian design studio "Daily tous les jours," the free interactive public art installation charms visitors in Campus Martius where it will reside until May 8th.
While the weather still feels like winter, spring is in full swing at Campus Martius Park in Detroit’s downtown.
In partnership with Quicken Loans, the Detroit 300 Conservancy and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, a giant-sized musical swing made Detroit its home Thursday and will stay until May 8.
“The Swings: An Exercise in Musical Cooperation” is a free, interactive swing set that features 10 seats that play musical notes from guitar, vibraphone, piano and harp. When used together, individuals can create a song.
Originating in Montreal, Canada, Daily tous les jours helped bring the musical swings to the United States.
Sarah Mackenzie, storyteller with Daily tous les jours, said the swings were used in Montreal to help revitalize their downtown area but also to show how cities can work together.
“So many improvements can be made when we can be in sync and cooperate with one another,” Mackenzie said. “Being in the seat is a feeling of euphoria and nostalgia. This is not just for kids, but for people of all ages.
The set took six days to install and are lit with LED lights.
Bundled in heavy coats and hats, people waited in the cold rain Thursday to get a chance to hop on the swings.
Tony Weir of Detroit, who works at Quicken Loans, didn’t want to get off of his swing.
“This is a huge stress reliever,” Weir said. “Quicken is a great company to work for but the work can be stressful. I will definitely make coming out here a part of my lunch break.”
John Marcicky, director of public space activation and placement at Rock Ventures and Quicken Loans, helped lobby to get the musical swing set downtown.
“Out of all the cities, I felt like Detroit needed to be on the list. Detroit is starting to be on the map again and a cool place that people want to come to,” Marcicky said. “We want to keep bringing new and fun experiences to the area that people can enjoy.”
Before Katie Durham of Livonia jumped off of the swing, she was able to compose a song in unison with the swinger next to her.
“It was hard to stay in sync once I got it, but the sounds are beautiful anyway, especially the harp,” said Durham, who works at Quicken Loans. “I’m having so much fun, I could literally stay out here all day.”
The swings, open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., will visit two other U.S. cities: San Jose, California, and West Palm Beach, Florida.