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News Oct. 16: Lighting the future

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Symposium to feature illuminating discussions by top lighting professionals

The designer of the groundbreaking "Nightscape" installation at Longwood Gardens will be a featured speaker at the Oct. 16 "Green Light" design and technology symposium at UD.

Registration remains open for a daylong symposium on Friday, Oct. 16, at the University of Delaware that will bring together industry leaders, artists, designers and scholars to explore the future of artificial lighting.

The symposium, “Green Light: Prospects in Lighting Design and Technology,” will be held from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Clayton Hall on the University’s Newark campus. Registration, at $55 per person or $25 for full-time students with ID from any institution, is now available at this website. The price includes a seated lunch and parking.

Speakers will include urban futures and strategic design consultant Marco Bevolo; Ricardo Rivera, a UD alumnus who designed the groundbreaking Nightscape installation on view at Longwood Gardens; Don Slater, co-founder of the Configuring Light/Staging the Social research group at the London School of Economics; and other leading designers, scholars and professionals in the field of lighting.

Following are the featured speakers and their topics.

Marco Bevolo will deliver the keynote address, “Create the Livable City,” about the approach taken by Philips Lighting’s city.people.light project from its beginning in 1996 through this year and will also discuss new trends. The international city.people.light award was created by Philips and the LUCI (Lighting Urban Community International) Association to recognize cities, urban planners, architects and lighting designers for projects that maximize sustainability and make cities more livable. 

In his address, Bevolo will present the latest results of research that he and Lighting Design Collective founder Tapio Rosenius conducted on behalf of Philips. Researchers conducted a three‐year study involving more than 200 European architects, urban planners and academics, as well as other leading professionals from architectural firms and design programs.

Sandy Isenstadt, professor of art history and director of UD’s Center for Material Culture Studies, will give a talk titled “Good Night: A Short History of Urban Light.” Isenstadt teaches the history of modern architecture and is the co-editor of the 2015 book Cities of Light: Two Centuries of Urban Illumination, the first global overview of urban lighting. His current book project, The Architecture of Artificial Light, examines the novel luminous spaces introduced by electric lighting.

Peter Y. Ngai, vice president of OLED lighting at Acuity Brands, will speak about “OLED Lighting: Where Design Embraces Technology.” OLED (organic light emitting diode) technology creates new possibilities in design because of its unique characteristics. Ngai, a pioneer in OLED lighting who holds more than 70 patents related to lighting design, technology and applications, will explore how this technology can support designs that are functional, aesthetically pleasing and in touch with our emotions.

Giana Phelan, director of business development for OLEDWorks, will speak on the subject “There Is Something About That Light.” Phelan collaborates with a highly varied mix of customers, including furniture makers, car manufacturers, contractors and architects. She will discuss the growing use of OLED lighting and the way that people who experience it for the first time often have a positive emotional response, feeling that the light is drawing them in and making them want to engage in it. 

Ricardo Rivera will give a talk titled “Animating the Inanimate: The Art of Projection Mapping.” A visual artist, filmmaker and a pioneer of the technique of video projection mapping, Rivera is a UD alumnus from the Class of 1998 and a founder of Philadelphia’s award-winning Klip Collective. In his talk, he will discuss examples of his work, including Nightscape: A Light and Sound Experience at Longwood, and describe how projection mapping brings a rigid landscape to life with light and motion.

Anne Militello, the founder of Vortex Lighting in Los Angeles and head of lighting programs at the California Institute of the Arts, will speak about “Spotlight on Creative Expression and the Surprising Power of Crossing Genres.” She approaches lighting design as a holistic practice and is a renowned stage and architectural lighting designer and fine artist. Militello has designed for Broadway, concert touring productions and international opera stages, as well as working at Walt Disney Imagineering.

Don Slater, reader of sociology and co-founder of the Configuring Light/Staging the Social research group at the London School of Economics, will speak on the subject “Lighting as Infrastructure and as Atmosphere: Designs and Disorder in Cartagena, Colombia.” His research group studies how designers and users configure light as a material into the infrastructure of everyday life and built environments and how designers and social researchers can work together for better understanding.

Matt Doty, associate professor of materials science and engineering at UD, will present a talk titled “Changing the Color of Light: Photon Up- and Down- Conversion.” Doty will describe this conversion process, in which materials can absorb photons of one color and emit photons of a different color, and will then discuss his efforts to develop new materials that implement up-conversion in order to improve the efficiency of photovoltaic energy harvesting and solid-state lighting.

Capping the day’s events will be a panel discussion among those responsible for executing Philadelphia’s June 5th Memorial Park, a project to honor the six lives lost in the collapse of the Salvation Army store on June 5, 2013. Nancy Winkler, co-chair of the project, Alfred Borden of The Lighting Practice, memorial artist Barb Fox and memorial architect Scott Aker will discuss their interdisciplinary, collaborative process.

Registration at the symposium will begin at 9 a.m. on Oct. 16, with the program itself running from 10 a.m. until 5:40 p.m., followed by a reception at 5:45 p.m. A luncheon and parking will be provided.

‘Nightscape’ at Longwood Gardens

A special event at nearby Longwood Gardens has been added the evening before the symposium for University alumni, their families and guests to experience Nightscape, the spectacular, immersive sound-and-light installation designed by Ricardo Rivera, who will also speak at the symposium. 

The Longwood event will be held from 6-11 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 15, with the Nightscape viewing beginning at sunset, around 7:30 p.m. Those attending will join fellow alumni and faculty members from the colleges of Arts and Sciences and of Engineering as they explore the installation at their own pace and then gather at the Beer Garden to socialize. 

Reservations are required for the Longwood event; visit the website to register. Tickets, including a $10 refreshment coupon, are $25 for adults and $17 for children ages 5-18. The event is organized by the Friends of Art History and supported by the UD Alumni Association.

Connections and Intersections

“Green Light” is the second in “Art and Science: Connections and Intersections,” a series of symposiums dedicated to the seamless connections between the visual arts and the sciences.

By examining topics that bind research in both the arts and sciences, the symposiums are part of UD’s efforts to familiarize a diverse audience from business, technology, the arts and academia, as well as alumni and friends of the University, with its interdisciplinary activities and its commitment to public humanities.

“Green Light” is a collaboration among the department of Art History, the Center for Material Culture Studies, the Harker Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Laboratory, and the College of Engineering.

Funding is provided by the Office of the Provost, the colleges of Arts and Sciences and of Engineering, the Department of Art History and the Center for Material Culture Studies.  Additional support has been provided by Penn Lighting Associates.

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A daylong symposium on Friday, Oct. 16, at UD will bring together leading artists and professionals to explore the future of artificial lighting.

Registration remains open for a daylong symposium on Friday, Oct. 16, at UD that will bring together industry leaders, artists, designers and scholars to explore the future of artificial lighting.

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