In this, the United Nations International Year of Light, Dr Don Slater and Mona Sloane will present the project they conducted on Peabody's Whitecross Estate in October 2014, titled 'Urban Lightscapes / Social Nightscapes'.
As you know light and lighting design are fundamental to our everyday life. Light is an enabler of all social interaction and experience and plays a central role in how cityscapes are shaped. It also plays an increasingly important role in discussions on environmental issues, health and wellbeing, safety and security, technological innovation and arts and creativity. Coinciding with a widespread adoption of the most fundamental technical revolution in lighting design since Edison - led - light also has a growing profile in urban design, planning, and governance. Despite this centrality, light is invisible in social science; and social research has no place in lighting design.
How then can light as 'stuff' be configured better of differently? How can lighting design consider social needs and contexts more seriously in overall design schemes? What difference can or should social knowledge make to the way designers and urban designers work with light? And what can social research contribute to 'configuring light'?
These are the key questions that will be addressed by Configuring Light / Staging the Social which is a London School of Economics multidisciplinary research program that forges an integral dialogue between social sciences, design, architecture and urban planning, focussed on light as one of the most fundamental features of social life. It was founded in 2012 by sociologists Dr Joanne Entwistle (King’s College London), Dr Don Slater and Mona Sloane (both London School of Economics).
Feature Image: 'Whitecross' Photo by Catarina Heeck