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Exhibition: Nightscape 2050- A Dialogue Between Cities-Light-People in Future

The emphasis on light and lighting now is more than ever and this is evident from the global initiative by UNESCO to declare and celebrate 2015 as the International Year of Light. With this in mind, Nightscape 2050 is a unique exhibition dedicated to Lighting and is aimed to explore a completely new horizon of lighting design. This exhibition aims to explore the interactions between people, light, and cities in the year 2050. “Nightscape” does not just mean the evening view; to us “nightscape = humans and cities at night.”

Sefaira Incorporates Customizable Graphics Into Daylight Visualization Software

Sefaira, the market-leading daylighting visualization tool, has just announced a new feature for their software plugins for Autodesk Revit and Trimble Sketchup. In addition to the real-time visualizations announced last year, the new update adds customizable, exportable graphics which offer both a point in time analysis or an annual overview, and analysis tools which help designers easily identify overlit and underlit spaces and review heating or cooling requirements.

Dutch Artist Transforms Amsterdam's Museumplein With 'Waterlicht'

Waterlicht (or 'water light') is a new light installation which has temporarily transformed Amsterdam's Museumplein into a "dream landscape" expressing both the power, and the poetry, of water. The shifting shapes and liquid movement of the artwork also have a very real purpose: like a virtual flood, the level of the lights show how high the water could submerge Holland and parts of The Netherlands without constant human intervention. The installation highlights how innovation in engineering, something which is embedded "within the DNA of the Dutch landscape" of polders and dikes, has been "almost forgotten." The nation's vulnerability against the power of the oceans is pertinently expressed in this experiential urban intervention.

© Studio Roosegaarde © Studio Roosegaarde © Studio Roosegaarde © Studio Roosegaarde

Taking Daylight to the Next Level: How Daylighting Analysis is Changing Design

Until recently, renderings were the architect’s primary tool for understanding daylight in their designs—renderings, and a healthy dose of intuition. But a new generation of daylighting analysis tools, which is emerging alongside a new generation of daylighting metrics, are enabling architects to look at daylight in new ways—with important implications for design.

Business as usual, when it comes to daylight, is to use rules of thumb to design, then use renderings to check the design and communicate the intent. Rendering has fast become an art form: the creation of exquisite, evocative, often atmospheric imagery that communicates the mood, the experience, the visceral feel of the design. This is no accident: daylighting is a magic ingredient in architecture, bringing dynamism to static structure, imbuing buildings with a sense of time, and renderings are a powerful way to capture and communicate these ideas—a necessary complement to the hard line plans and sections that comprise much of the architect’s lexicon. Renderings have expanded our ability to communicate designs. They have also expanded our ability to conceptualize designs—and especially to conceptualize the daylight in our designs.

But there’s something missing: there are important daylight-related questions that renderings simply can’t answer. Even if they can be made reasonably accurate, they’re still incomplete: depicting a moment in time, but not providing an indication of whether that moment is unique or typical.

21 Finalists Named for 2015 LAMP Lighting Solutions Awards

LAMP Lighting has revealed its top picks for this year’s Lamp Lighting Solutions Awards. Now in their 6th year, the awards recognize projects that effectively explore the intersections of architecture, interior design, and landscaping with original, innovative, and sustainable lighting. With record internationalization, this year’s awards received 598 submitted projects from 54 countries worldwide.

The Lamp Lighting Solutions Awards span the categories of Architectural Outdoor Lighting, Indoor Lighting, Urban and Landscape Lighting, and Students Proposals. Winners will be announced at a ceremony in Barcelona in June, and will receive monetary prizes between € 2,000 and € 8,000. Additionally, one professional will receive the “Life of Light” award for committing his or her career to lighting.

See all the finalists after the break.

Le Chai Ballande / Yon Anton. Image © Arthur Pequin Dolmen Light / Titia Ex. Image © Theo Berends Photograpy Affinity Interactive Art Installation - BCP Building / Claudia Paz. Image Courtesy of LAMP Lighting Szczecin Philharmonic / Barozzi Veiga Studio. Image © Simon Menges

Choi+Shine Architects Introduces the BIT Light, a Magnetic Modular Lighting System

Developed by Choi+Shine Architects, the BIT Light is a magnetic modular lighting system that offers endless configuration possibilities which can be arranged, deconstructed and rearranged in seconds. The system's main component is the "BIT", a linear lighting element comprised of an LED light source in a translucent polycarbonate tube that provides both protection and structural support. At each end of the BIT are conductor pads which join magnetically to the small nickel connecting elements, offering infinite possibilities for arrangement either as a flat wall-mounted lighting element, a suspended configuration, or even as a self-supporting three-dimensional lighting structure.

Courtesy of Choi+Shine Architects Courtesy of Choi+Shine Architects Courtesy of Choi+Shine Architects Courtesy of Choi+Shine Architects

LAMP Awards 2015: Rewarding the Best in Lighting

Last call for entries! LAMP Lighting Solutions is inviting lighting designers, architects, urban planners, interior designers, engineers, landscapers and students to submit their projects for the 2015 LAMP Awards. The LAMP Awards recognize projects that have successfully met the architectural lighting needs of an indoor or outdoor space, having created a positive synergy between architecture, interior design, landscaping and lighting. The awards value the creativity, innovation and sustainability of lighting projects, regardless of the manufacturer or the brand of lights used in the project. January 31st is the last day to submit projects

Last year, 608 projects from 52 countries were submitted as part of the LAMP Awards, and this year the jury will be comprised of Mark Major, Kai Piippo, Douglas Leonard, Anne Bureau, Emma Cogswell, Anupama Kundoo, Juan Carlos Sancho and Ignasi Bonjoch.

Light Matters: UN Celebrates The International Year of Light 2015

Light is all around us, and it increasingly affects our daily lives. For example, we have started to carry personal light sources around with our smartphones, and in our homes many electrical machines now utilize light to display information and simply to appear more attractive. In a larger context, architecture and cities have also developed a new dimension with the advent of electrical lighting for work and entertainment.

Inspired by the central role of light for our culture and technology, the United Nations has proclaimed 2015 as the “International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies” (IYL2015). With IYL2015 the UN wants to raise the awareness of the importance of light and optical technologies in our lives, our future and the development of society.

Read on after the break for more enlightenment around IYL2015.

"Over the Rainbow", Shanghai, 2013. First place in the SPIE International Year of Light Photo Contest, www.spie.org. Image © Paul Reiffer Realities:united, NIX, simulation drawing, 2005. Exhibition: Lightopia, Gent. Image © realities:united Swing time. Boston, 2014. Image © Howeler + Yoon Architecture New York – The City and the Storm. Image © Iwan Baan for New York Magazine

Christmas Lights in Madrid: Brut Deluxe's MOON Through the Lens of Miguel de Guzmán

Miguel de Guzmán, a noted photographer and Spanish audiovisual producer, has shared with us one of his most recent works. MOON is the lighting project by Brut Deluxe that has taken Madrid's Gran Vía, delivering a perfect urban setting for the year-end celebrations. This context is also the location of a new film by Imagen Subliminal, who has already delighted us in the past with audiovisual proposals for projects like The POP-UP House and Casa del Espinar. The full Moon, after the break.

© Miguel de Guzmán © Miguel de Guzmán © Miguel de Guzmán © Miguel de Guzmán

Christmas Wars: The Fight to Hold the World Record for the Most Christmas Lights

In the ongoing battle to hold the Guinness World Record for the Most Lights on a Residential Property (aka the house-with-the-most-Christmas lights), the Gay family in LaGrangeville, New York has once again reclaimed their title. This year the family used 601,736 lights, spanning two acres and set to more than 200 songs. RITZ Crackers, part of Mondelēz International, helped the family top the record, providing 200,000 lights. The Gay family and the Richards family in Canberra, Australia, have been fighting for the title over the past three years. But not to be outdone, the Richards family took home the Guinness World Record for the Largest Image Made of LED lights for their Christmas light installation this year. The installation in Canberra used 1,194,380 lights to make a 3D image of three Christmas gifts spanning 3,865 square meters and raised money for the charity SIDS and Kids ACT.  See more pictures and read more about the ongoing lights competition at City Lab and Guinness World Records

Light Matters: Creating Walls of Light

Modernism induced a shift in lighting away from luminaires and towards invisible light sources that render spaces in a purer (forgive the pun) light. For the first time, lit walls were used to define rooms and to structure architecture. Today I’d like to explore early prototypes - including Philip Johnson’s Brick House and the Seagram Building - and discuss how their lighting techniques continue to influence architecture today. 

Grazing light at Sancaklar Mosque, Istanbul. Architects: Emre Arolat Architects. Image © Thomas Mayer Wallwashing at British Museum, London. Architecture: Foster & Partners. Lighting design: Claude Engle, Chevy Chase, Maryland. Photo: Dennis Gilbert / View. Image © ERCO, www.erco.com Wallwashing at Nordrhein-Westfalen House, Germany. Architeture: John Pawson. Photo: Werner Huthmacher. Image © ERCO, www.erco.com Cove lighting at private spa. Designer: Carmody Groarke. Lighting design: Lighting Design International. Image © Christian Richter

Light Matters: Richard Kelly, The Unsung Master Behind Modern Architecture’s Greatest Buildings

Richard Kelly illuminated some of the twentieth century’s most iconic buildings: the Glass House, Seagram Building and Kimbell Art Museum, to name a few. His design strategy was surprisingly simple, but extremely successful. 

Lighting for architecture has been and still often is dominated by an engineering viewpoint, resigned to determining sufficient illuminance levels for a safe and efficient working environment. With a background in stage lighting, Kelly introduced a scenographic perspective for architectural lighting. His point of view might look self-evident to today’s architectural community, but it was revolutionary for his time and has strongly influenced modern architecture.

Read more about Richard Kelly’s remarkable, and unsung, contribution to architecutre, after the break.

Entrance, Seagram Building, New York. Image © Ezra Stoller/Esto Seagram Building, New York. Image © Thomas Schielke Entrance, Seagram Building, New York. Image © Ezra Stoller/Esto Bar, Four Seasons Restaurant, Seagram Building, New York. Image © Hagen Stier

Foster + Partners' SSE Hydro Arena Features Translucent Skin, Innovative Seating System

Glasgow has just unveiled its new multipurpose structure which will end up revitalizing the Clyde Waterfront, which went into decline and neglect for many years following the closure of the town's major shipyards. After 8 years of construction, Foster + Partners' SSE Hydro now reveals its ETFE facade which is lit up every evening. During the day it manages to blend in with the usual changing Glasgow skyline. 

The structure of the SSE Hydro Arena is covered by a 1.400 ton steel housing – one of the largest domes in Europe - and the ETFE translucent building enclosure allows one to discern what is happening inside from the outside. A 260 ton ring which supports the lighting is suspended from the dome, which will allow spectacular and customized lighting for each show.

The modern technology applied to this project contrasts with its interior structure that has been based on the Roman amphitheater, allowing each and every spectator at an event -- which can be up to 13.000 -- to have an optimal view of the stage. The viewing angle and comfort of the user is furthermore guaranteed by the special seating system designed by Foster + Partners along with Figueras International Seating

Courtesy of Figueras Courtesy of Figueras Courtesy of Figueras Courtesy of Figueras

VIDEO: Light Installation Transforms Cylindrical Tower

The bowels of a Gasometer may be an unlikely place to stage a light installation, however, URBANSCREEN, a German projection company, has done just that. 320 Licht is a spectacle of light and sound within a cylindrical volume over 300 feet high. With the help of Epson Germany, URBANSCREEN was able to sync 21 separate projectors for a 22 minute loop, documenting the process in the amazing high-definition video above. Enjoy!

Behind the Magic of Media Installations

In this interview, originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "Q&A: Melissa Weigel of Moment Factory", Leslie Gallery-Dilworth talks with Weigel about the challenges of devising multimedia installations for public spaces, as in their recent installation for the Bradley International Terminal at LAX.

Montreal’s Moment Factory, a new media and entertainment studio, is best known for creating and producing multimedia environments that combine video, lighting, architecture, sound, and special effects. You may have seen their work at Cirque du Soleil, Madonna’s 2012 Superbowl Half Time Show, Disney's E3 booth, or Jay Z's Carnegie Hall debut. Perhaps you were there when they lit up the facade of the Sagrada Familia or Montreal's Quartier des Spectacles district. Or maybe you saw that they were included in Apple's recently launched 30th anniversary timeline.

Moment Factory was the main content provider for the interior concept and media features in the newly opened Bradley International Terminal at LAX, designed by Fentress Architects. It was a large collaboration consisting of several partners, including Mike Rubin with MRA International, Marcela Sardi of Sardi Design, Smart Monkey, Digital Kitchen, and Electrosonic with installation by Daktronics and Planar.

Light Matters: Glass Beyond Transparency with James Carpenter

In Modernism’s attempt to dissolve spatial boundaries with transparency, the material used - glass - is all too often dematerialised. In contrast, the New York-based designer James Carpenter is interested in multiple readings of glass - beyond transparency. 

As Carpenter explains: “People approach light in relationship to architecture. It is that the light is the means by which the architecture is revealed and the architecture is basically defined by the way the light enters the space. I tend to think actually from the opposite direction where the light itself is what informs the architecture. The architecture is in service of light rather than the other way around.” 

More Light Matters, after the break…

7 World Trade Center. New York, NY 2003-2007. Image © Andreas Keller Dichroic Light Field. Millennium Tower at 160 Columbus Avenue. New York, NY. 1994-1995. Image © JCDA Dichroic Light Field. Millennium Tower at 160 Columbus Avenue. New York, NY. 1994-1995. Image © JCDA Sky Reflector-Net (2013), an integrated artwork, is an artist, architect, engineer collaboration with James Carpenter Design Associates, Grimshaw Architects, and Arup, commissioned by MTA Arts for Transit and Urban Design and MTA Capital Construction Company (MTACC). Image © Richard Kress, JCDA

Light Matters: Europe's Leading Light Festivals

In mid autumn, when the nights get longer in the northern hemisphere, we encounter numerous light festivals. And indeed, within the last ten years, more and more light festivals have globally emerged. The reason for the success of light festivals is simple, as the German curator Bettina Pelz concludes: “It’s actually fairly easy, because whenever you do something with light in cities in the night, then people do come. If you do it good, they come twice.” 

As Pelz points out, light is an apt medium for evening events, since it easily attracts people. Communities have discovered the potential of lighting for city marketing, and the closer they plan their date to Christmas, the more they merge their illumination with the festive blinking lights of commercial Christmas markets.

Join us on a tour through some of the leading light festivals in Europe. Read more about their different backgrounds, artistic concepts and future trends after the break...

Light Marina Bay. Singapore, 2012. Image © Darren Chin Berliner Cathedral, Festival of lights. Berlin, 2012. Photographer: Marius Schwarz. Image Courtesy of  Festival of lights / Frank Herrmann Tunnel of love by Vollaerszwart. Glow 2011. Image Courtesy of GLOW Eindhoven Cagna Illuminations, 2012. Design: De Cagna . Light Festival Ghent. Image Courtesy of City of Ghent

Light Matters: 3D Video Mapping, Making Architecture The Screen for Our Urban Stories

Powerful video projectors at an affordable price have opened the path for a young, impressive art form: 3D video mapping, a means of projection that uses the architecture itself as the screen. Artists and researchers initiated the movement, developing a new visual language to interpret architecture. Later, marketing adopted this technique for branding, with large-scale projections on skyscrapers; political activists have also initiated dialogues, turning ephemeral light interventions into eye-catching ways to point out and address urban design issues. 

More on the ways artists and groups develop this visual language for urban storytelling, after the break…