Documento senza titolo

FURNISHINGS FOR THE URBAN LANDSCAPE: LIGHTING FIXTURES

Marc Aurel

 

METHOD

When designing an exterior lighting fitment, one always begins by thinking about the unit’s future environment and context. The unit is not a simple object but indeed itself a piece of ‘public space’. How should we imagine our urban centers of tomorrow? What role will urban furnishings such as streetlamps play and how will man relate to these units?

Our method relies on analysis of the impact these urban furnishings will have on public space. When taking on this subject, we first carried out preliminary analyses of current trends in the design of urban centers and lighting fixtures. This led us to concentrate on studies of various urban environments in order to highlight the relationship that is created between the object and its surroundings. Our objective has been to analyze representative urban environments and underscore a certain number of elements that make up these urban landscapes, including various signs, codes, advertisements, graphics, textures, and the like. The purpose was to bring attention to the over-abundance of information we take in when passing through such cityscapes and to the overall vision it creates. One quickly realizes that it is an ‘urban view’ made up of graphics and visual patterns, and that any object that will be placed in this type of urban context should be an integral part of its overall composition.

A study of the nature of the units’ profile and contour turned out to be the topic on which we initially concentrated our efforts. Our research revealed simple, perceptible and ‘readable’ forms corresponding to their particular environment and to specific ways of interpreting a given urban space. The way urban fixtures were perceived by a moving subject was also taken into account.

The environment led us to think about the surface effects created by such fixtures, and we then proposed units of overall similar form that seemed to alter their own appearance by, for example, destruction of the very shape of the objects (blurring contours, etc.), by mimicry or imitation via a mirror effect, by direct integration into the overall pattern or by the application of recognizable images and signs. This approach has allowed us to go beyond discussion of the colour of the unit (texturized, gray, tinted glass, etc.) by proposing new surface effects that deal both with the chosen material and its environment.
Finally, the relationship between the urban object and the individual has remained essential to our research and has led us to recognize a finer scale of textures and outer surfaces.

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Design Management
VIZO Workshop

“Design makes the Difference”
Brussels, Belgium - 29/30 November 2002

 
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