This week, I introduced our very own Dr. Steve Millington who delivered an intriguing take on the use of illumination in towns and places and their long term effects on the towns therein.
Incidentally, Steve writes a blog which is a great read to all concerned with Place Management.
Some interesting research into the cultural aspects of lighting was uncovered by way of the widespread impact of Christmas Lighting in shop windows. (I never thought I would have to type a sentence like that!)
Within the post-mortem discussion, the IPM’s own Dan McGrath had an enlightening response to Dominic Martinez’s question about the environmental ramifications of major lighting schemes in towns. He said that he:
“…. attended a RUDI conference earlier in the year and recalled a case study in France that used light to create spectacle and also highlight environmental concern (perhaps hypocritically).
Organisers bathed a large tree in the centre of the town/ city park in intense shadow-casting red and pink lights, coupled with a customised ‘soundscape’ (speakers strategically placed throughout the park). The effect of this arrangement made the tree appear as if a pair of lungs, a reference to Emile Zola’s comment that parks are the “lungs of the city”, engaging users of the park in a sensual and topical experience.
It is apparent that place managers must be aware of the impact of light and lighting (yet another place management issue!), not just in the creation of spectacle and for general place functionality, but for the fostering of community spirit through the inclusion of stakeholders in decision-making relating to such fixtures & fittings and event & activities in order to ensure that places are designed and managed for those they serve …”
The event was filmed in glitzy technicolour and shall be posted soon, watch this space. Although, apparently the guys in the office are currently revamping our Facebook Group to a bigger brighter and shinier Facebook Page!!