There is arguably no aspect of architecture in which science is more influential than in the realm of lighting; from the florescent bulbs of the late 19th century to the LEDs that only became truly viable in the past decade or two, advances in the science of creating light have been quickly followed by architectural experimentation. In this excerpt from her book "Superlux: Smart Light Art, Design & Architecture for Cities," Davina Jackson recounts the tremendous advances made by lighting in the 20th and early 21st centuries, and looks forward to the next frontier - that of "smart lighting."
Today’s smartest lighting innovation has no need for machine-generated power. Simply fill a clear plastic bottle with water (plus bleach) and silicon-seal it through a hole in the roof of any rudimentary shelter. Behold: daylight floods the dark interior.
PET bottles for conducting radiance, solar-powered LED lamps for night visibility and satellite-enabled smartphones to exchange instant knowledge globally: these are the 21st century’s keys to illuminating billions of people living rough in settlements. Like the original campsites of London, New York, São Paulo and Sydney, some of these slums will become great global centers.