On 16 May, the first International Day of Light
will be celebrated to honour the central role played by light in people’s lives. Following the great success of the International Year of Light
in 2015, UNESCO proclaimed this day on the anniversary of the first successful operation of the laser in 1960 by physicist and engineer Theodore Maiman. The laser is a perfect example of how a scientific discovery can yield revolutionary benefits to society.
From the discovery of alternative energy sources able to reduce pollution, the developments in the medical field that have allowed the development of new tools for diagnosis and treatment of diseases, through to the invention of high-speed internet that allows connections in almost every area of the world through fibre optics – this global initiative aims to emphasize the crucial role of light in the development of technologies used in various fields and disciplines: science, culture and art, education, sustainable development, medicine, communication and energy, to name just a few.
iGuzzini has always been committed to spreading the culture of light as a tool for social innovation and will celebrate this day by taking part in various initiatives and conferences, including the following:
• "The language of light - Light and technology in the museum experience"
As part of the convention promoted by UNESCO at the Opificio della Luce in Verona, Piergiovanni Ceregioli, iGuzzini Cultural Research Centre Director
will present the project "Perceptual restoration: the Specola and the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua"
as examples of redevelopment and enhancement of cultural heritage through light. More info on the event is available here
• Liquid Light Photography Competition and Charitable Campaign
In celebration of the inaugural International Day of Light, iGuzzini and the LDAs (Lighting Design Awards) launched a charitable photography competition to help UNICEF tackle the scourge of contaminated water in Africa. For each photo published by members of the lighting community on Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn, between 2 April 2 and 16 May, 1,000 tablets for water purification were donated. A whopping 421,000 tablets were donated as a result and the overall winner of the photography competition will be announced on the International Day of Light. More info on the initiative are available here
• “Light in the City Manual: A Vector of Social Cohesion?” (by Zorica Matic)
iGuzzini supported the creation of the book “Light in the City Manual: A Vector of Social Cohesion?”
edited by the Serbian researcher and founder of the Association "Les Idées Lumières", which aims to develop and promote the culture of light. The manual, dedicated to studying the role of lighting as a social-cohesion element, has been promoted by UNESCO and will be launched on the occasion of the International Day of Light.
As part of the International Day of Light, iGuzzini will also participate in the NightSeeing International Day of Light
event in London. The event involves Configuring Light / Staging the Social (an interdisciplinary research team from the London School of Economics) that iGuzzini has recently collaborated with on the social research project 'Social Lightscapes Workshops'
, the first publication in the world to integrate sociological research in to lighting design. iGuzzini had also collaborated with Configuring Light on the development of the social project Smart Everyday Nighttime Design
aimed at the improvement of nightlife and safety in the neighbourhood of Getsemani in Cartagena, Colombia, through light.