Urban Lightscapes Workshop

Published on November 28, 2013

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An experimentation workshop, comprising the second part of the Urban Lightscapes project, took place from 22 to 24 of November at the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia, in Barcelona. A joint effort by Beforelight and IAAC, the workshop was attended by 21 participants from 5 different countries mostly with a background in architecture, industrial and lighting design and engineering.

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The aim of the workshop was to design and fabricate a Participatory light Prototype/lighting Process, promoting users’ participation in creating different light interventions in their neighborhoods. Every citizen should be able to have a saying in his neighborhoods lighting conditions and the workshop set out to promote this participation through two approaches: One where through customized design and personal fabrication, users should be able to adapt the form, materiality, surface and color of the lighting devices and define the type and the location of the lighting sources and secondly, with interactive design the participants had the ability to program the devices and choose the inputs that will influence their performance.

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The 7 groups worked on remarkably diverse ideas, proving the extend to which participatory lighting could become applicable, using tools such as Rhino 3D – Grasshopper, programming with Arduino UNO, sensors and digital fabrication. To mention a few examples, the Tree Hacker proposed a viral adaptable lighting source that is attached to trees and is customized by passers by in the form of a modular game. The Moebious Strip was a lighting device based on the well-known strip that would change the lighting conditions according to its fold while the Take away Light is a prototype of a station for improvised torches that would facilitate dwellers to have access to a mobile lighting devise. Two projects used the bench as a symbol of people coming together and explored possibilities of this common urban piece of furniture to be an interactive lighting source, while Two Bound tried to include citizens in storytelling and encourage them to interact with one another by projecting pieces of stories in which passers by could participate.

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Urban Lightscapes is a European Project focused on the multifaceted study of urban lighting, through an interdisciplinary platform that involves artists, designers and citizens, with utter goal to promote open dialogue and residents’ active participation. Involving three activities: a symposium, a workshop and light installations, Urban Lightscapes aims to change the way citizens perceive open spaces and urban lighting, aspiring to be a successful example of an interdisciplinary and social collaboration with positive influence in public lighting.

Urban Lightscapes Workshop organized by Beforelight and Fab Lab Barcelona at the IAAC.

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