More than anything the city is a place where we are constantly in transition. Transit Mantra resounds the energy of our movements in the urban landscape. The experience of being in transition now becomes a pleasant moment of reflection.
A symbiosis of beautiful design and an improved sense of safety, that is
how the installation ‘Transit Mantra’ is best described. Since August
2013, Eindhoven has enriched the Dutmala tunnel with this interactive
light and sound sculpture. It guides cyclists and pedestrians through the
The origin of Transit Mantra lies in the history of Eindhoven, a cluster
of former villages fused into the city of today. The decentralized
character of Eindhoven is still noticeable when passing through. Being in
transit is therefore an important experience, which is now enhanced by the
swarm-like installation. The experience of being in transition now becomes
a pleasant moment of reflection. When people pass the tunnel, moving from
A to B, elements react on the human movement. Velocity and number of
passengers influence the behavior of the installation: it reacts
differently on an individual walker than on a group of people on a bike.
This leads to an always changing pattern of light and sound. The energy
of the passengers together make the tunnel into a collective instrument.
Transit Mantra shows that technology can be aesthetic, innovative and
functional at the same time. The functionality is specifically noticeable
in the increased sense of security. The light trail of the last person in
the tunnel stays visible for a while, so a lone passer is accompanied by
the fresh past.
Alderman of innovation, design, culture and public space Mary-Ann Schreurs
was delighted by Transit Mantra, especially in these difficult financial
times where projects like these are hard to realize. “In bicycle tunnels
people always experience a certain unsafe feeling. If they see that others
were just before them, this feeling decreases.”
The work that currently houses in the Dutmala tunnel is the start of a
‘transit mantra’ that will hopefully soon resound in more places in our
urban landscape. It is the first permanent installation in public space by
KNOL ontwerp, existing of Celine de Waal Malefijt and Jorien Kemerink.
With their design they have won the Brains Awards in 2009, a talent prize
for innovation and design. KNOL has fulfilled this title; in the past few
years they have built up a special oeuvre in which technology is often
poetically interwoven with our daily habitat. For the development and
realization of Transit Mantra, KNOL cooperated with Armada Janse
(hardware) and Sioux (software).