Tag Archives: Climate

Lighting Zeitgeist: Culture, Climate and Materials (Part 2 of many)

Culture, climate and materiality  form the three pillars of light that are the bedrock for our critique of the lighting zeitgeist.

Climate and materiality are two great concerns within lighting, but while they possess enormous influence, they do have clearly defined boundaries. The broader a definition is of culture, the more accurate it becomes; the inverse for both climate and materiality. The flexible nature of culture holds a great deal of interest for design, in that how we manifest objects, systems and behaviors through design is a large part of the dialogue surrounding the question; what is culture? Lighting solutions internationally balance universal ideas about light with local variations. A given culture’s position in the global economic development cycle is often reflected in its use of lighting in urban, night environments. However, striking a balance between regional differences and globalization is often a challenge.
o The culture of lighting defines us. In an era that is increasingly segmented, with a renewed focus on site-specific, culturally aware design, every practitioner in the built environment can benefit from better understanding the implications of culture in lighting design. While the nature of culture is interesting, attempting to define or sculpt its wide boundaries is not the primary aim of this posting- Starting a  dialog on the differing nature of culture globally as it affects light is- we are interested in how culture informs light and affects how we perceive light.
o Every culture has had a distinct relationship with light, and that continues today. As it is manifest, light defines broader tastes and styles within a culture. And, this has deeper implications than mere fashion or vogue. As more firms and practitioners begin to operate across geographic boundaries, understanding cultural drivers is critical for meeting the needs of the populous- From lighting the villages of India to designing civic, residential and institutional environments in New York City, to exploring the burgeoning and conflicted world of the Middle East, every practitioner in the built environment can benefit from better understanding the implications of culture in lighting design.
o What are the elements that define individual cultures? We might list the arts, architecture, technology, economics, religion, literature, politics, tradition and ritual, human biology and physiology, local conditions, climate, and natural resources. In analyzing a culture’s unique views on lighting, we might consider light in relationship to each of the above elements. While certain elements, like the human physiological response, remain consistent cross-culturally, others, such as climate or religious traditions, can vary immensely.

THE LIGHT SHOW AT HONG KONG HARBOR- A CULTURE’S UNIQUE VIEW ON LIGHT

AND

THE LIGHTS IN MARRAKESH- DIFFERENT YET BEAUTIFUL AND ENGAGING!

symphony of light hongkong 2

 

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

 

 

 

 

AIA New York Honors Rebuild By Design With Its Community Development Award

The BIG U, by BIG. Image Courtesy of rebuildbydesign.org

The BIG U, by BIG. Image Courtesy of rebuildbydesign.org

The New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) has awarded its 2014 Community Development Award to the Rebuild by Design competition organized by President Obama’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force. The results of the competition were announced in June this year, with six schemes, including proposals by BIG and OMA awarded a total of $920 million to repair the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy and improve the resilience of the coastline in the region.

Click HERE to read the full article.

Written by: Rory Stott

Image Courtesy of: rebuildbydesign.org

Source: ArchDaily

World’s First Temperature Controlled City to be Built in Dubai

Mall of the World by Dubai Holding

Mall of the World by Dubai Holding

United Arab Emirates’ Vice President and Prime Minister, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid has announced the world’s first temperature controlled city to be constructed in Dubai. The vast 48 million square foot project, entitled ‘Mall of the World’, will contain the planet’s largest shopping mall and an indoor theme park covered by a retractable glass dome that opens during winter months.

Additional aspects of the plan include a wellness center, a cultural celebration district and a range of hospitality options that include 20,000 hotel rooms. Once completed, the development will welcome around 180 million visitors each year, forming a year-round destination for guests of all ages.

Click HERE to read the full article.

Written By: Philip Stevens

Image Courtesy of: Dubai Holding

Source: DesignBoom

Next Leap in Mobility

AUDI urban future award 2014 science slam

AUDI urban future award 2014 science slam

‘The Next Leap in Mobility’ is the motto of the 2014 AUDI urban future award. This year, the initiative invited four international multidisciplinary teams composed of ethnographers, IT specialists, product designers, urban planners, natural scientists, sociologists, etc. – from Berlin, Boston, Mexico City and Seoul –to research and develop schemes responding to problems related to transportation in cities. The four proposals were first presented in Berlin in April. Though distinct in their own rights, reacting to four diverse parts of the world, they all express one underlying commonality: to improve mobility in large, densely developed areas and enhance residents’ quality of life.

Click HERE to read full article with videos and images

Image courtesy of AUDI urban future award

Written By: Andrea Chin

Source: Designboom

REX Clads Media Headquarters with Retractable sunshades

the towers’ elevations can ‘blossom’ in less than a minute

the towers’ elevations can ‘blossom’ in less than a minute

New York-based architecture office REX has developed the conjoined headquarters of two middle eastern media companies. the brief from the sister organizations calles for two elegant structures that pay homage to traditional emirati architecture, while satisfying their programmatic demands. starting with a long slender precedent – approximately 100 m x 22 m (328 ft x 72 ft) – the design team seeks to simultaneously accommodate offices alongside smaller broadcasting and news studios.

Click HERE to read the full article

Written By: Philip Stevens

Images courtesy of luxigon

Source: Designboom

REX clads media headquarters with retractable sunshades

REX clads media headquarters with retractable sunshades

powerful LEDs integrated within the sunshades create an enormous media wall

powerful LEDs integrated within the sunshades create an enormous media wall

ISOLA 2014

I was honored to be invited to speak on the role of lighting in creating a sense of place in landscape. My talk explored this approach through the filter of culture and climate. I also shared how cues from the sun in landscape often guides our approach to developing lighting design solutions. After the talk, I was asked to stay on for a panel discussion on conclusions from the conference.

The organizers did a fabulous job by inviting notable personalities like Vandana Shiva, Ashok Vajpeyi, and Feisal Alkazi to speak at the conference as well. All in all- an inspiring conference where I learned more than I shared.

Written By: Abhay Wadhwa

Abhay Speaking at ISOLA

Abhay Wadhwa to Speak at ISOLA 2014 Conference

On Saturday March 1 2014, Abhay Wadhwa will speaking at the Indian Society of Landscape Architects (ISOLA) 9th Annual National Conference 2014. Abhay will lecture on The Impact of Culture and Climate on Lighting Systems during day 2 of the conference.

ISOLA- AWA- Culture and Climate

 

Link for the official ISOLA 2014 Brochure

Link for the official ISOLA convention website 

Link for the official ISOLA main website

 

The Impact of Climate on Lighting Systems

Several of the rapidly developing parts of the world have substantially different climates than Europe and most parts of North America. Fixtures or lighting systems that have essentially been developed for the milder climes will not perform as well with the aggressive climate of the Middle-East, South Asia or South East Asia. The metrics of measurement and the standards must be updated. Further emphasis should also be given to the following factors:
Humidity
Some areas have almost 90% humidity through several months of the year. The humidity in the air coupled with water in the ground means that all components of a lighting system need to be addressed as a complete system to ensure proper functioning. The water/ humidity finds the weakest link in the system and creeps through to the other parts via capillary action which has an adverse impact on the functioning and life of the components.
Choice of hardware must also be informed by whether the environment is near the ocean, as the salines will then have an adverse impact on the componentry.
Temperature and Ratings
When fixtures and lighting systems are tested under the IEC 60598, the ambient temperature is kept close to 25 degree centigrade and 65% relative humidity. After injecting the right voltage, the fixture is kept burning for four hours. In this time the temperature rise of the various components used in the fitting would have stabilized, and the temperature rise recorded through the help of thermocouples fixed to the various parts of the fitting. From this set of data, the release of the fitting is decided. If the fitting if found suitable for 25 deg. Ambient (Outdoor) and 35Deg. Ambient for indoor, it is cleared for sale, as the temperature in Europe never exceeds these temperatures. However, in other parts of the world, the temperatures are usually much higher.
Bugs, Mice and Birds
The bugs tend to live short lives and collect on light fixtures for their final resting place. The mice eat through wires and conduits. And the birds tend to use the light fixtures as a restroom. The deposits they leave are caustic and have a significantly detrimental effect on light fixtures and systems.
Dirt and Dust
This is another aspect of the environment which impacts efficiencies and longevity of lighting systems. However, this is more of a factor in how we design lighting for a space rather than a lamp technology issue. For light fixtures, the IP rating already focuses on this aspect and provides information that helps us in specifying the right fixtures.

This is an excerpt from Abhay Wadhwa’s Keynote speech at the World Lighting Congress 2012 titled The Impact of the Culture and Climate on Lighting Systems

The Impact of the Culture and Climate on Lighting Systems

Every practitioner in the built environment can benefit from better understanding the implications of culture in lighting design. Every culture has had a distinct relationship with light, and that continues today. As it is manifest in the present day, light defines broader tastes and styles within a culture. And, this has deeper implications than mere fashion or vogue. As more firms and practitioners begin to operate across geographic boundaries, understanding cultural drivers is critical for meeting the needs of the populous.
Lighting solutions internationally balance universal ideas about light with local variations. A given culture’s position in the global economic development cycle is often reflected in its use of lighting in urban, night environments. However, striking a balance between regional differences and globalization is often a challenge. Are there “Universal” ideas about lighting? What are the variations in light concepts as preferred by the local population?

New York City Skyline


Dakar Senegal Skyline

It is equally critical to understand that climate in the “other” parts of the world (non-American and non-European) is distinctly different and harsher on light sources and systems. That combined with different procurement and installation practices often leads to a scenario with a substantial impact on the operation and efficiencies of lamp technologies and lighting systems characteristically developed and built for the more developed economies.

This is an excerpt from Abhay Wadhwa’s Keynote speech at the World Lighting Congress 2012 titled The Impact of the Culture and Climate on Lighting Systems

A Historical Perspective on Light Levels

Over time, we have often seen a shift in requirements within a culture or people. In the United States in the 50’s and 60’s, the popular adage was “more light, better sight.” When the OPEC energy crisis occurred in 1973, it required a serious re-examination of light levels and prompted many research excursions to show that we could work as efficiently in much less light.In the last 50 years, as other areas of the world have found prosperity and technology has become more affordable, traditional constructs of light and darkness have been replaced by grossly overlit spaces. The flip in perceptions is best highlighted by the following two quotes taken from two authors from two different parts of the world, quoting 75 years apart in time.
• “[W]e Orientals tend to seek our satisfactions in whatever surroundings we happen to find ourselves, to content ourselves with things as they are; and so darkness causes us no discontent, we resign ourselves to it as inevitable. If light is scarce then light is scarce; we will immerse ourselves in the darkness and there discover its own particular beauty. But the Westerner is determined always to better his lot. From candle to oil lamp, oil lamp to gaslight, gaslight to electric light – his quest for a brighter light never ceases, he spares no pains to eradicate even the minutest shadow
Jun’ichiro Tanizaki, In Praise of Shadows, Japan (1933)
• “Some judicious use of shadow would help humanize our over-lit lives.”
Murray Whyte, Toronto Star, Canada (2008)

The Gartner Hype Cycle is a methodology that’s been used effectively by Gartner since 1995. The Hype Cycle provides a graphic representation of the maturity and adoption of technologies and applications, and how they are potentially relevant to solving real business problems and exploiting new opportunities. The Gartner Hype Cycle methodology gives you a view of how a technology or application will evolve over time, providing insight into managing its deployment within the context of specific business sector.

A corollary to the Hype Cycle could be that the technology triggers happen in different parts of the world at different times, and they continue to propagate through their hype cycle at different rates. If ‘light levels used’ are seen as a function of technology and then mixed with economics to understand the speed of absorption, we can better understand why certain areas of the world have a propensity for higher light levels. It may also mean that the ‘light levels used’ in different parts of the world, based on their economic prowess, may be located on different parts of the Hype cycle.

Diagram of Hype Cycle

This is an excerpt from Abhay Wadhwa’s Keynote speech at the World Lighting Congress 2012 titled The Impact of the Culture and Climate on Lighting Systems