RAW turns downtown Montreal into a high-design, interactive kaleidoscope

 Montrealers and visitors are invited to discover Prismatica, a public art installation by RAW at the Quartier des Spectacles in downtown Montreal. Comprised of 50 pivoting prisms, each more than two metres tall, Prismatica is one of two installations selected by the juries of the 5th annual Luminothérapie competition and will be on display until Feb.1, 2015. With its contribution, RAW becomes the first firm based outside of Quebec to participate in Montreal’s celebrated design competition.

Says RAW director Roland Rom Colthoff, “We wanted to contribute an installation that was immersive, yet inviting. We wanted people to play around, have fun and, in doing so, forget about the cold. To see Prismatica come to life is a thrill and RAW is honoured to be chosen to participate in Luminotherapie. It’s a great event that celebrates lively public space on a large scale and has a history of successes. It also speaks to the passion for design found in a city like Montreal.” 

The 50 pivoting prisms are made of panels laminated with a dichronic film that transmits and reflects every colour in the visible spectrum, varying with the position of the light source and the observer. The prisms are mounted on bases containing projectors. As visitors wander among and manipulate the prisms, they will enjoy an infinite interplay of lights and colourful reflections. As the prisms rotate, a variable-intensity soundtrack comprised of bell sounds will play.

Luminothérapie’s second installation takes advantage of the Quartier des Spectacles’ eight video projection sites, which will be lit up by a digital carnival called Fascinoscope devised by Lüz Studio, a Montreal-based visual design studio.

Both Prismatica and Fascinoscope will be on display for free daily, with Prismatica open around the clock. Starting Jan. 15, there will be free guided tours of the Luminothérapie works. Online registration will begin on Jan. 6.


RAW is a Toronto-based architectural firm that works on a wide variety of scales and project types. From community greenhouses to large residential developments, not to mention outdoor interactive installations, its team of 30 architects and designers takes a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach. For Prismatica, the firm assembled a team of professionals from several fields (applied science, technology, art and architecture).

Lighting design
ATOMIC3 + Jean-François Piché
Sound design
Dix au carré
Production and technical direction
ATOMIC3 + Louis Héon


The Quartier des Spectacles is Montreal’s cultural heart, boasting North America’s most concentrated and diverse group of cultural venues. The district is the year-round host to countless festivals and events, many of which include free outdoor shows and activities. The Quartier also hosts innovative urban installations involving cutting-edge lighting design, immersive environments or interactive digital spaces. The Quartier des Spectacles is an international showcase for new multimedia technology, making Montreal a global leader in the field.

For more information, visit www.quartierdesspectacles.com  

Montreal is part of UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network in the Cities of Design category. The Network, which includes 69 cities in 32 countries, helps creators in member cities share their experiences, while promoting the international exchange of best practices and knowledge. The Ville de Montréal’s Bureau du design works with the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership on preparing and running this annual competition. Such competitions are among the many commitments taken on by the city and the partners in Action Plan 2007-2017 – Montréal, Cultural Metropolis, which aims to promote excellence in design and architecture while affirming Montreal’s status as a UNESCO City of Design.