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132 TECHNOLOGY / EDUCATION FIRST FOR FRANCE


For the first time in France, a Masters degree course in Architectural Lighting Design is being established at the Nantes School of Architecture. A series of conferences was recently organised as a precursor.


Some may be surprised to learn that, unlike the UK, Germany, Italy and Spain, France does not have a Masters degree course in Architectural Lighting Design. For fourteen years the French lighting designer’s association (ACE) has been working hard to make this happen but the height of their achievements has been the posting of some professional members to teach at schools of architecture and engineering - but even that is a rare occurance.


Since 2009, the school of architecture in Nantes, École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture (ENSA) has been working with ACE to establish a Lighting Design course and, after two years of hard work by the Director of Education, Claudia Enrech, Nante’s professor of architecture Laurent Lescop took the lead in mid-2011. In order to faciltate the course, ENSA recently organised a programme of seminars on lighting design in partnership with the writer and architect, Vincent Laganier that took place from March 1st to May 10th. Six lighting experts gave lectures (Michael F. Rohde, Roger Narboni, Sylvie Sieg, Vincent Laganier, Jean-Jacques Ezrati and Régis Vasseur) to an audience of 440 delegates with 90% of them being students - a perfect environment to introduce an Architectural Lighting Design Master in Nantes! Nantes is the ideal locaton for the conference and for a Masters course. The urban lighting approach adopted by the local authority has been very different to Paris and Lyon (the French city of lights). After a lighting master plan designed by Roger Narboni’s Concepto in 1993, the city started a diverse lighting renovation


programme. Employing a variety of lighting designers (Pierre Bideau, Yann Desforges, Alain Guilhot, Roger Narboni, Pierre Nègre, François Magos and Sylvie Sieg), each public space was treated differently to avoid duplicating the same environment throughout the city depending on its urban form and history - for example, the Cours des 50 Otages, the XVIII district or the Bouffay neighbourhood, all close to each other, each have their own unique style.


SUMMARY OF THE CONFERENCES • Michael F. Rohde, L-Plan in Berlin. “Lighting should respect the need of individuals,” he said. His lecture was focused on interior spaces linked to his project experiences but it also contained information on light and health. “Lighting must use daylight without glare as much as possible. It’s the best way for saving energy and the best light source for our heath,” he concluded. An important challenge for architects and students in architecture! • Roger Narboni from Concepto, Paris gave a lecture on the light ambiances in urban areas. He insisted on the quality of light and its right balance towards our need for darkness. Pascal Ravilly, head of Training at the Pôle Atlantique, who attended his conference, declared: “What I loved most of all was the retreat from his projects and the emphasis on the users. He is showing that he works primarily for quality of use.” • Sylvie Sieg, lighting designer in Auvergne in the centre of France, explained how she went from architecture to lighting design in a sensitive lecture based on her lighting projects in outdoor spaces.


Pascale Ravilly commented: “It was a very educational speech where she revealed her secrets - the importance of site analysis, history and the steps necessary before she begins the design process.” • Vincent Laganier presented a lecture on James Turrell’s perceptions of art and how the American artist’s Light & Space works question how we percieve light and colour. The speech was highly detailed on the Turrell series and his work on architecture in Europe and at the Roden Crater. • Jean-Jacques Ezrati is a colour specialist, a lighting consultant for the Museums of France and an expert in museum exhibitions. He has also developed specific expertise in the field of light and health. His presentation was more academic than the others with well-structured, precise information on the basics and fundamentals of lighting. • Régis Vasseur is a theatre lighting designer and the technical director at Angers Nantes Opera as well as a lecturerer at the DPEA Scenographer course at ENSA. For him, stage lighting design is about “finding the balance (feasibility) between a dramaturgical analysis, means and the given time, in harmony with the staging and set design.”


“Light must be ‘fair’, experienced as such. Perhaps surprising, but not for itself. The light must be in harmony with what is experienced on stage. It helps to create this state, this relationship with the public but it is only one element.” www.lightzoomlumiere.fr www.nantes.archi.fr


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