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the day, so we have to make that emphasis and say ‘what about the night?’ So that’s where it really came from; to bring people along on a walk that focuses on the beautiful shadows and light that really bring the night time alive as an environment.’


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Schwendinger is familiar with the Islington Angel area, as she lived in London in the 70s and has a close friend living at Angel. ‘I have a good feeling about the Angel as just being really diverse. It’s a bit gentrified and sort of chi chi with the antique shops and fancy restaurants, but its also got wonderful public alleyways and a sort of preserved architecture as well as new – Sadlers Wells is walking distance. There’s quite a lot of people needing each other and getting together right at the station, so it’s a very well used public space at the Angel.’


What new lighting developments are you excited about?


all designers don’t take risks, but in my experience with the projects I do, I must take risks. I love to explore new ideas, new concepts, new ways to get to the end result that would be process oriented. With that idea of exploration and discovery, this is an element that we share with the viewer or the user of the space. I think that if we really do focus on the discovery and exploration, then the viewer will experience it in the same way. What I think makes a good lighting scheme is an enlargement/enhancement of space; bringing new understanding to public space, and something to discover – surprise, anticipation, something new, something conversational, something that lends an element of discovery. I think questions are good too – what’s this?‘


Nightseeing program


The Nightseeing program will include an hour-long evening walk led by


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Schwendinger, and forms part of the IALD Enlighten Europe Conference. ‘The Nightseeing program really grew out of an interest in developing lighting theory. I had been teaching at Parsons School of Design in New York and taking my students on these walks that were very oriented more towards the vernacular or the light we see around us everyday. I decided there wasn’t much about lighting theory and what public lighting is, and its not just exterior lighting – it can be private gardens and hotels, but really public space which has to do with the trees, the parks, the bridges, and things like that. So I began to develop that lighting theory, and at the same time it was obvious that education needed to be done and that people weren’t very aware of the night time in a sense that urban planners weren’t really thinking about the night time. So when you see those wonderful renderings of cities and new spaces and developments, generally they are during


What I’m excited about in my sector (public lighting), are the new control systems, and new lamps that work with the control systems. For me the idea of 1) energy saving, 2) economic development and 3) vibrancy of any given area at night, ie. People kind of have a lot of potential, let’s say a catalyst by these controls systems. I believe that as we combine urban design with economic development ideas with lighting, we can use control systems to brighten and dim lights at certain hours in the public realm, so you know by brightening lights at certain ours and dimming them, we’re acknowledging the different kinds of activites in any given district. And I believe that also in the end if community groups that are set up within cities – community council to task forces to business improvement districts – can begin to define how this brightening and dimming should occur over the night time, given the activities, the open and closed hours of restaurants and shops, the commuting hours that people walk to and from the subway and transit, then its very exciting to control light over time during the night time hours.


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