Part of Urban Diagnosis:38 (Sabeya Ali)
Light to darkness – Light has the ability to alter the urban realm and change our perceptions; it can trigger emotions, inform us and excite us. Lighting has become an increasingly important aspect of today’s nocturnal cities. By analysing the existing, challenging and critiquing new ideas, a concluding proposal was made for a light and darkness strategy of the route. The study began by looking at the multiple images of the city that are created the hour when the sun sets. The subtle changes highlight and conceal different features and create different atmospheres. The existing lighting along the route was analysed through measuring and mapping the light levels at each bus stop on nights of various weather conditions. This was then compared with an exercise where each team member marked out where they thought the brighter and darker areas existed. This was mapped and varied from the actual results. The experiment strongly ties into the idea that the eyes only make up 10% of the visual information while the brain makes up the other 90% to perceive things.
What if? This was an exercise of challenging new ideas of lighting the urban realm.
What if there was interactive lighting? Only the areas used being lit, bringing excitement to lighting, it is the people and how they use the space that becomes a spectacle at night.
What if the buildings lit the surroundings? The buildings and lighting could become integrated from the original design concept.
What if voids were lit? If parks were lit they could be used 24/7, however it would disturb the natural wildlife within at night.
What if advertising played a more important role in urban luminosity? It could become a distracting overlay of the city’s architecture, but if this was an overlay of a wall, for example, it could give it an alternative use at night.
What if the M74 extension was lit? Instead of lighting what are landmarks by day, what if the places of negative associations were lit to try and change people’s perceptions? It could give the city a whole new identity at night.
What if there was a canopy of lights along the streets creating an artificial sky? This could enhance streets of special use.
What if lighting and architecture was combined? It could provide a cohesive way of lighting the urban realm.
Light and Darkness Scheme – ideas were combined and applied to different areas of the route to create a proposal of light and dark. The new ideas were combined with old to create a whole cohesive picture of what the urban realm could be like at night. With the select areas lit, the light against the dark backdrop creates a vibrancy. Through the variety of urban luminosity, it creates interest and vitality throughout the urban realm at night.