Light for Public Space is a collaborative publicationby Susanne Seitinger, Senior Technologist for Advanced Applications at PhilipsColor Kinetics, and Antonia Weiss, Strategic Designer at Philips DesignLighting. It explores diverse lighting projects that use contemporary lighting technologies to expand the possibilities for public lighting. Part one of the book explores ways in which lighting projects have shifted towards revitalizing urban nightscapes and activating public space.
In the first of three question and answer sessions, Laura Taylor, Program Manager of Research Design for Philips Lighting, joins Seitinger to weigh in on the future of lighting for public spaces and preview the first part of the book.
How did this collaborative project come about? How did each of your respective backgrounds in design, architecture, and technology, contribute to this effort?
SS: With a conversation! Antonia and I had been batting around loose ideas for a while. Then we did the empirical work to see what we would find. After reviewing examples from around the world, we began defining a structure for the book. Like many collaborations these days, we had to work over a distance, and bridge time and space with technology. I want to continue evolving the materials and text in this way to ensure that they stay fresh and relevant in coming years. More authors are turning to new tools for collaborative writing and research. I’ve enjoyed experimenting with those possibilities.
I think all of us share at least one discipline with the other, which facilitates our exchanges. In particular, I studied architecture and urban planning before really diving into the field of human-computer interaction, as well as science-technology and society studies in my PhD. These different academic perspectives provided an important context and grounding for the work.
Who is the audience for this collaborative publication? How do you wish to change their perspective on public lighting?
SS: Our goal was to address practitioners in the public and private sector – from architects and urban planners to lighting specialists. We structured the piece with many individual headings and sub-headings to enable readers to find specific sections of interest to them or read the entire paper in one go. More than anything, I hope the piece raises awareness for the important role lighting can play in urban design for pedestrian environments going forward.
LT: We would like to inspire people about the new possibilities of ‘digital light’ by showcasing these projects. We hope to show that digital lighting systems allow you to curate and control lighting more easily than was possible with conventional lighting.