Grounds for Sculpture Presents Impulse

15 illuminated and sound-producing seesaws On site June 11 – July 9, 2017

Grounds For Sculpture (GFS) is pleased to announce Impulse, a new installation at the 42-acre sculpture park comprising 15 giant see-saws that will transform the southern end of the Great Lawn into a vast illuminated interactive art playground. Impulse will be sited at GFS for one month only, and will be open to the public for use from June 11-July 9, 2017. This special installation is part of GFS’s ongoing 25th anniversary pop-up events. Extended hours until 9pm on Fridays and Saturday evenings will allow guests to enjoy the full spectacle that Impulse provides after dark.

Impulse debuted in Montreal in the Quartier des Spectacles in 2015 during Luminotherapie, an annual winter festival showcasing technological, artistic, and cultural innovations and inspired by Montrealers’ love of outdoor play – regardless of weather. It was created by architect Lola Sheppard and lighting designer Conner Sampson, with sound design by Mitchell Akiyama. Sheppard is founder of the Toronto-based firm Lateral Office, an experimental design firm that operates at the intersection of architecture, landscape architecture and urbanism. Sampson founded the Montreal-based CS Design, a firm which designs lighting for parks, heritage buildings, monuments and artworks. Akiyama is a Toronto-based composer, artist and scholar who has performed across Europe, Japan, Australia and North America.

Impulse will add new dimensions of fun for visitors of all ages,” says GFS Executive Director, Gary Schneider, “We’re thrilled to host such a dynamic and interactive art-installation, and to be able to offer our guests that much more reason to visit the sculpture park after dark.”

To activate the giant illuminated and sound-producing seesaws, visitors sit astride them like any other seesaw. Once in motion, the built-in lights and speakers produce a harmonious sequence of sounds and lights, resulting in a constantly evolving ephemeral composition. “It is wonderful to see that the artworks and installations by artists and creators who work with the Partnership are providing inspiration for cultural districts elsewhere. We applaud their excellence and boldness,” said Mr. Pierre Fortin, Executive Director, Quartier des Spectacles Partnership.

Through the use of architectural lines, a hypnotic soundtrack and an entertaining illusion of depth, Impulse is an installation that renews itself for every different audience. Each person becomes, while on the seesaws, the player of a novel instrument. “The landscape is transformed by the sound and light emitted by the seesaws when people play on them,” says Lola Sheppard, “The result will always be different, whether there are 30 people on the site or three people on a single seesaw.”

Impulse has been on view internationally in London, Brussels, and Lugano, and in the United States in Scottsdale, Baltimore, and Chicago. After departing GFS, Impulse will travel to Jerusalem, Detroit, and Calgary.


The seesaws were designed by Lateral Office and CS Design, in collaboration with EGP Group. Founded in 2003 by Lola Sheppard and Mason White, Lateral Office is a Toronto-based experimental design firm that sees architecture as a response to complex, urgent questions in the built environment, engaging in the wider context and climate of a project – social, ecological or political. The firm’s recent work and research focuses on powerful design. CS Design was founded in 2008 by Conor Sampson. CS Design’s areas of expertise include electric lighting and programmable control specification, custom fixture design, daylighting in buildings and public spaces, and energy efficiency. Sound designer Mitchell Akiyama has released over ten records, has scored numerous films and dance performances, and has received commissions from, among others, the Akousma Festivals and the Nouvel Orchestre D’aujourd’hui. Mechanical design and production is by Générique Design. Established in 2004 by Sébastien Dallaire, Generique Design is a Montreal-based object design studio specialized in the fields of digital art, interactive design, and public installations.


Grounds For Sculpure (GFS), now celebrating its 25th anniversary, is located in Hamilton, New Jersey (midway between Philadelphia and New York), and is a forty-two acre not-for-profit sculpture park, arboretum, and museum founded by Seward Johnson. It combines art and beckoning spaces to surprise, inspire, and engage all visitors in the artist’s act of invention. Its collection features over 270 contemporary sculptures by renowned and emerging artists. Exhibitions change seasonally in six indoor galleries. Offering rich educational programs, a robust schedule of performing arts, and fun family events, it is open year-round, with extended hours in the summer season. Shopping and dining options complement every visit. For hours, admission prices, and a calendar of events, visit Stay up to date at