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Cities of Light

‘Smart light cities’ – the global movement where digital and eco-ethical lighting is transforming urban environments at night – offers exciting new creative potentials and career pathways for designers.

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BY Lorenzo Logi

August 12th, 2015


Above: The Golden Moon, a temporary metal-framed textile structure by architects LEAD, lit with a colourchanging system by LED ARTIST (Teddy Lo) for Hong Kong’s Lee Kum Kee festival.

Davina Jackson’s new book SuperLux: Smart Light Art, Design and Architecture for Cities includes photographs of recent artworks by international and Australian designers, including Bruce Ramus, Electrolight, Warren Langley, The Electric Canvas, Studio 505, Spinifex, Barry Webb, Mary-Anne Kyriakou, McDermott Baxter, Fiona Venn, Reinhard Germer, Hank Haeusler, Ian de Gruchy, Chris Bosse, Andrew Daly, Katherine Fife, Clouston, Joe Snell, Yandell Walton, Laurens Tan, Cox Architects, the Buchan Group, Meinhardt Light Studio, Lend Lease, Laith McGregor, Kate Shaw and Guan Wei.

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Mer-veille at MuCEM in Marseille by Yann Kersalé with architect Rudy Ricciotti (photo: Matthieu Colin), pictured on front cover of SuperLux

The book includes summaries of nine new art, design and architectural genres of the smart light movement, which Jackson named to help promote Mary-Anne Kyriakou’s eco-ethical ‘smart light walk’ exhibitions for Vivid in Sydney (2009) and iLight Marina Bay in Singapore (2010, 2012). More than 50 other regular city light festivals are listed – from Diwali to Earth Hour, Lyon and Frankfurt to Gdansk and Hiroshima.

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2-22, La Vitrine Culturelle, Montreál, by Moment Factory.

SuperLux, published globally by Thames & Hudson, also presents essays by Jackson, Kyriakou and Europe-based scholars Peter Weibel, Vesna Petresin, Thomas Schielke and Peter Droege. Schielke also has created a ‘timeline of luminous structures’ to highlight historically significant light architecture projects since the 13th century. Droege has proposed a ‘SuperLux Code of Energy Conduct’ for lighting designers to specify only renewable sources of powering their ‘wonderful’ light displays.

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Code (version 2), a cinema presentation in Beijing by Laurens Tan

The book will be launched with a SuperLux: Smart Light Cities exhibition at the City of Sydney’s Customs House, Circular Quay, 3 September-17 October 2015. Curated by Jackson with Sydney light architect Mike Day and a Customs House team managed by Jennifer Kwok, it will include imagery of international projects from the book and special lightworks by Kyriakou, animator Damian Gascoigne, and lumino-kinetic artist Alan Rose.

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Crystallized, a contoured and colour-changing pixel screen by Andrew Daly and Katherine Fyfe. (Daly and Fyfe)

 


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