architecture. Our cities have already changed a lot in comparison since
those days, if you take into account new mobility concepts, new uses
of public spaces, new possibilities for creating amazing architecture,
and, for sure, the new obvious necessities regarding sustainability,
respect of the environment, and preservation of the dark sky, as well
as of nocturnal biodiversity.
Thinking about the future of urban lighting in 2053 therefore definitely
also means considering the future of urban planning, the evolution
of the city and its urban spaces in relation to new mobility concepts and
architectural trends. That is why it was important for me to invite lighting
designers from all over the world to dream freely about what the future
might look like.
The questions I wanted to address include ways to develop new luminous
ambiences in the public realm, designed for pedestrians, spaces that
address our senses. Might we see the total disappearance of street poles
and their boring regularity? And how will we integrate issues of circadian
rhythm, a sense of wellbeing, and neuroscience into our daily work when
designing lighting for public spaces?
For example, could citizens be encouraged and invited to imagine and
create their own lighting environments? How might the development
of personal lights, autonomous lighting devices, luminous drones and
luminous clothes transform our way of thinking or designing the lighting
for an urban space? How might this new lighting democracy transform
the city’s image and feel at night? Could darkness – the development
of dark infrastructures around and in the cities, and the issue of dark
therapy – be integral to every new urban lighting project?
We might also speculate on what new tools might offer. What role will
luminous architecture and luminous materials play in the lighting of
public and private outdoor spaces in future? How might future genetic
mutations, the development of human prostheses, eye implants, or
bionic and robotic technologies change our night vision and the way we
move around after dark?
Thinking ahead to 2053, what kind of balance will there be between
designed urban lighting in future and the public lighting designed
Top: holographic lighting enhances urban nightscapes. Frédérique Parent, Concepto
Overleaf, clockwise from top left: autonomous luminous halos and light avatars
encourage socialisation. Noémie Riou, Concepto
In the digital age, night is abolished. Laurent Fachard, LEA
Sustainable lighting could enable non-polluted nightscapes. Kaoru Mende, LPA
People can manipulate light very easily and therefore develop a healthier relationship
with it. Kaoru Mende, LPA