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Configuring Light at LIGHT EDU Symposium 2016

Social Lightscapes: a workshop on social research

Social Lightscapes: a workshop on social research in design

As part of the vast array of events, projects and activities undertaken by iGuzzini under the umbrella of 'Social innovation through lighting', we are also collaborating with the London School of Economics and the Social Light Movement on the Configuring Light / Staging the Social workshop series. This will be concluded with a lighting design manual due to be published in 2018. The main purpose of the manual is to illustrate that lighting design is not just a set of technical data, but is based on social science methodologies. The first part of the reasearch results can already be accessed here.

Configuring Light / Staging the Social is an interdisciplinary research program headed by the London School of Economics (LSE). Founded at the end of 2012 by sociologists from King's College and the London School of Economics, it explores the fundamental role of light in our society. All projects carried out as part of the programme look at how lighting impacts our daily lives: through infrastructure, in the form of technology, as environment or as a particular type of material that we create and shape through our daily actions and through our professions.

Configuring Light  is supported by the LSE and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).
iGuzzini has been actively supporting the research programme since 2015, as part of the 'Social Innovation through Lighting' it undertakes. The Configuring Light research programme includes a series of workshops carried out in collaboration with design schools, conferences and exhibitions.

The Configuring Light / Staging the Social team of sociologists and lighting designers from the LSE, King's College and the Social Light Movement carried out their first workshop at the Peabody Whitecross Estate in London, while the following two workshops took place at the Acland Burghley School in London and in Muscat (Oman), where they collaborated with the Gutech UPAD (Gutech Department for Urban Planning & Architectural Design).

During the LIGHT EDU Symposium, Elettra Bordonaro (Social Light Movement) and Don Slater (LSE) will present the research programme and the results of the workshops carried out to date. They will also coordinate a workshop on social research in design - an interactive process of 'understanding a space in its complexity'. Social research in design can play a crucial role in regenerating and activating the current situation in the area of Piața Sinaia (Timişoara): a neglected historical public space where lighting, despite its potential centrality, only plays a marginal role in the creation of public urban life. With a specific focus on socio-spatial analysis, the workshop will be acting as an introduction class to this methodology. Based on the conclusions of the workshop, the new lighting design of the square will be developed at the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism with eLearning support from Configuring Light. 

Finally, an exhibition of items created as a result of the first workshop organized by Configuring Light in 2014 at the Peabody Estate in London Whitecross, can be visited at the Jecza Gallery in Timisoara between 3 - 10 October.


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