All photos by Alexandre Ayre

The Garment District Alliance never fails to activate its Midtown pedestrian plazas in colorful and interactive ways, whether with art installations or street art on the ground. Its latest will be unveiled this afternoon, entitled Impulse and will feature 12 over-sized see-saws that glow and play music.

Impulse will be located between West 37th and 38th streets, which is pedestrian-only and closed to vehicles. The installation will be open to the public following a press preview at 4 PM. According to the Garment District Alliance, the movement of the see-saws will be an “ever-changing composition [that] will create a dynamic light and sound wave, animating and brightening the Garment District’s Broadway pedestrian plazas.

Glowing seesaws coming to the Garment DistrictPhoto by Ulysse Lemerise / OSA

Impulse is designed by Lateral Office and CS Design and first appeared in Montreal in 2016 as a way to better activate vacant, underutilized spaces in the city’s main arts district, the Quartier des Spectacles. According to Lateral Office, Impulse is “Inspired by the iconic cover of the Joy Division album “Unknown Pleasures”, as well as Steve Reich’s serial, minimal music, which plays with repetition, rhythm and syncopation, Impulse project explores how architecture can visualize sound.”

When the see-saws are not being used, they automatically revert to a horizontal position and emit a lower level of glowing light. When someone rides one, the see-saws will increase in brightness and play a sound sequence. Lateral Office describes Impulse as an “ever-changing urban instrument.”

“This is a truly fantastic interactive art experience that creates a unique area of urban play on our pedestrian plazas,” said Barbara A. Blair, president of the Garment District Alliance at the press opening. “As part of our commitment to enhancing the pedestrian experience year-round, we are proud to introduce a new, captivating installation that brightens Broadway in the Garment District this winter and brings joy to all who visit.”

The installation will be up until January 31st, 2020.

Next, check out our guide to the Garment District