whenlightswork entry for the “Intelligent Urban Lighting Solution for Eindhoven” competition organized by Living Labs Global shortlisted as one of the finalist for pitching. The concept proposed is structured upon examining the context of a public space, the illumination of these public areas, and the meaning of an intelligent urban lighting solution.
Urban Lighting had always been perceived with the functionality of the system, taking precedence over the aesthetics of the resultant environment, or the relations of the illuminated to its occupants. Development in lighting technology had made it possible for us to formulate lighting solutions that react and respond to users, perhaps through media facade or with the integration of sensors or smart lighting control systems. Yet, the challenge is not to relate the illuminated environment to the advancement in technology, but the brief now stands on the need to create an illuminated environment that relates to its community. Hence, the interpretation of an Intelligent Urban Lighting Solution, is not in direct relations to the technological advancement of the proposed lighting fittings, nor the complexity of the resultant nightscape, but WhenLightsWork believe that to achieve a well illuminated urban environment, the key to the challenge lies with the community, and with close relation to the local context – culturally and socially. Therefore, the challenge of the Intelligent Urban Lighting Solution is not in terms of the implemented solution, but the conceptualization of the masterplanning and the vision for project implementation.
PRINCIPLE ONE // COMMUNITY FORMING VISUAL PATTERN OF THEIR NIGHT ENVIRONMENT
The principles of this design is based on the need for the formulated lighting plan to react and respond to the local community, collaborative with selected local artists forming interactive lighting installations. To prevent too much complexity in the visual appearance of the resultant installations, guidelines will need to be established in the use of colours and the language and composition of the lighting installations, and the designs of these installations should follow the context and design intentions that relate to the local community, or the uniqueness of Strijp-S. This relation of lighting to the enhancement of the uniqueness of Strijp-S will cultivate the sense of identity, so as to allow the residents to maintain and understand the vivid character of the nodes.
PRINCIPLE TWO // LIGHTING TO RESPOND TO PEOPLE, ACTIVITIES AND TIME
The lighting plan should allow for interaction and responses towards the community’s activities, and the changes due to time and celebrations. Therefore, the lighting installations should react in accordance to the programme of the lighting scenes, the relation of the fittings and the illuminated surfaces, and the manner light should interact through the integration of technology. Besides the fulfilment of the aesthetical requirements of the composed image of the illuminated environment, the lighting level should suffice to maintain the functional use of space, as well as to create a quality illuminated environment that focuses on the establishment of the illumination of the social objects (ie, people and their faces) and to highlight area sufficiently to enhance the sense of security and well being of the night-time environment. Also, the provided lighting equipment should not nly respond to the needs of everyday activities, but to accommodate for entertainment lighting during festive celebrations in public spaces.
PRINCIPLE THREE // QUALITY LIGHTING TO IMPROVE AND FACILITATE USE OF SPACE
The overall night-time environment focus on providing a quality nightscape that improves, and reacts to the programmatic plan of the space. Therefore, further understanding should be done from the perspectives of the community who reside in the area, to understanding the problems and issues they might notice from their night-time environment, and to envision the use of light to rectify and improve the night-time environment from the perspectives of the local community. Also, lighting should be implemented to encourage the use of the public spaces, at both day and night. Yet, the use of lighting equipment should be sensitive and well implemented to ensure visual subtlety in the daytime, and for the community to perceive the beauty of the lighting effects in space.
PRINCIPLE FOUR // THE ILLUMINATED STRIP THAT CONNECTS THE EDGES, WITH VARYING EXPERIENCES
Although, in visual form, Strijp-S is perceived as a open space that is structured in between the massing of the building blocks, and in character, this might be a plot that form the visual edge of the site, yet lighting is perceived to be the medium to connect the linear plot with its surrounding, and to allow for connections to be established between Strijp-S to its surroundings longitudinally and horizontally. Experience one will have within Strijp-S should be varied and enjoyable, simulating one’s senses as one moves within the parcel.
PRINCIPLE FIVE // FITTINGS THAT ACCOMMODATE FOR TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE
Fittings should be able to accommodate for changes due to technological advancement in lamp source development, whilst not changing the physical form and intentions of lighting plan. Hence, it is recommendation that the lighting plan should be visited every 5 or 10 years cycle, to establish a parallel between the current technology advancement to the utilized lighting fixtures. Also, the maintenance system should be well established as an installation criterion to ensure that the installed fixtures and the implemented technology can be easily accessible in times of repair, or replacement.
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