08/02/2014 04:25 EDT | Updated 10/02/2014 05:59 EDT

Pool noodles take over Old Quebec for public art

When you head to Old Quebec you certainly experience the history of one of the oldest cities in North America: the colonial buildings, the cobblestone roads — and now more than 1,000 pool noodles. 

They're a part of a semi-permanent public exhibition called Passages Insolites or Unusual Passages.

Delirious Frites is one of six city-mandated public art installations on display in Quebec City's Quartier Création.

The creators say they chose pool noodles as their medium to encourage people to touch and interact with the exhibit.   

“The main thing is that people recognize [the pool noodles]. When you go to the museum and someone sees bronze, they don’t want to touch it because they think of it as something precious,” said Alexandre Hamlyn, one of three architecture graduate students from the University of Laval who designed and created Delirious Frites.

“But when it’s just a common product, people think they can play with it. So by using [pool noodles] I think we really helped people to interact with the art,” Hamlyn told All in a Weekend's Pierre Landry.

The Public Art in Quebec City initiative started in 2007, and this year the vision is to create “surprising,” modern exhibits that contrast with the historic architecture in the neighbourhood.

“I want to turn the heads of people in the street with something unusual and colourful. It’s a contrast to the history of the quarter,” said Vincent Roy, director of Exmuro, the organization that curates the exhibit.

This is the first time architecture students and sculptors have been involved in the project. Organizers say this creates a different ambience than when the exhibits are designed by visual artists alone.  

“I think architects think more about the urban space and the humans in the space… to create a universe where people interact,” said Hamlyn.

The Passages Insolites exposition runs until October 18, 2014.