ART & DESIGN

Partly Cloudy with a Strong Chance of “Wow”!

An atmospheric art installation at Place des Fleurs-de-Macadam by EN TEMPS ET LIEU combines nature and the city living

By Amulya Hiremath, edited by Hamzeh Alfarahneh on 08.04.22

Remember when the simple act of looking up at the sky and making meaning and stories out of fluffy white clouds brought so much joy? With high-rise skylines taking over the horizon in cities, access to such pleasures has grown so few and far apart that our connection to nature is strained daily. In an attempt to explore the dynamics between nature and city living, the contradiction of organic life and technology, design collective EN TEMPS ET LIEU brought a cloud a little bit closer to the ground in Montréal, Canada. The installation ‘Partly Cloudy with a Strong Chance of “Wow”!’ is on display at Place des Fleurs-de-Macadam in Mont-Royal Avenue which has been transformed into a 2.5 km pedestrian-only zone for the summer.

The cloud changes and reflects colors based on 12-hour weather forecasts. Photo by Latrompette Studio
The cloud changes and reflects colors based on 12-hour weather forecasts. Photo by Latrompette Studio

Created by Quebec-based designer Stéphanie Leduc and German researcher Manuel Baumann, the duo at EN TEMPS ET LIEU explore themes such as space, humanity, experience, and temporality. Partly Cloudy with a Strong Chance of “Wow”! was also the winner of a design competition launched in November 2021 by the Société de développement de l’avenue du Mont-Royal.

Suspended 30 feet above the ground, the piece is designed to resemble a giant fluffy cloud that creates shaded zones that slowly move with the sun’s motion. In an installation of atmospheric poetry, the cloud changes and reflects colors based on 12-hour weather forecasts while reacting to heat waves, storms, rain, and sunshine.

Partly Cloudy with a Strong Chance of “Wow” on display at Place des Fleurs-de-Macadam. Photo by Latrompette Studio
Partly Cloudy with a Strong Chance of “Wow” on display at Place des Fleurs-de-Macadam. Photo by Latrompette Studio

Drawing inspiration from meteorology and old wives’ tales popular with people, the cloud stands at the intersection of where we come from and where we are headed. ‘Partly Cloudy with a Strong Chance of “Wow”!’ symbolizes water in its two states, liquid, and gas. The installation is on view until October 2022 at the Place des Fleurs-de-Macadam in Montréal, Canada.

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