Light and lighting are undergoing profound technological changes that are transforming private and public realms. The combination of LED and new control systems have put light centre stage in debates about the future of our cities and homes as social spaces are re-imagined in different ways and scenarios. Light is now a concrete theme in mainstream public debate with issues such as sustainability, the environment and health and wellbeing, especially in the UNESCO International Year of Light 2015. In addition, ever expanding aesthetic possibilities have opened up as new products come on stream which change colour temperature, rendering and atmosphere and offer greater possibilities to intervene and shape the look and feel of our home and urban environment.
The 3rd Configuring Light/Staging the Social ESRC-funded seminar – and our first gathering during the UNESCO International Year of Light 2015 – explored the role of new lighting technologies and trends in configuring the future of cities and homes and, vice versa, how imaginations of social futures are shaping our understandings of new possibilities for lighting. Speakers from diverse academic disciplines and professional practices addressed the following questions:
1. What will be key lighting innovations, developments and opportunities in the coming decades?
2. What will future homes and cities look like in relation to these developments?
3. What are the tools and methodologies employed to imagine these social and technological futures?
The two panels comprised academics and practitioners, confirmed speakers were: Dr Anna Carlsson-Hyslop (Manchester University), Professor Andrew Barry (UCL), Brendan Keely (SLL), Lisa White (WGSN), Dr Susanne Seitinger (Philips) and Professor Marion Roberts (Westminster University).
This event was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and is the second of a three-year seminar series of the Configuring Light/Staging the Social programme which is coordinated between LSE Cities (Dr Don Slater, Mona Sloane) and King’s College London (Dr Joanne Entwistle) and examines different knowledges, practices and technologies through which we use and understand lighting in everyday life, urban planning and design.
Image: Copyright Adafruit Industries