Light+Building 2018 – Italian company Artemide launched the O lighting design collection which matches the needs for safety and healthy darkness for green urban spaces. The new series by ELEMENTAL comprises O-shaped lights featuring sensors that lit spaces when people pass by and reduce the light to the minimum when nobody is around. The collection allows plants and animals to recharge their batteries or to carry their nocturnal habits without being exposed to intensive artificial light after sunset.
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“The more the planet becomes urban, the more we appreciate the value of natural spaces.” Explains Pritzker Prize laureate Alejandro Aravena, founder of ELEMENTAL. “The cities with the highest quality of life are those that were visionary enough to keep portions of untouched nature within their foot print and transform them into public spaces.”
The problem is that the forces that govern nature and modern urban life, even if guided by good will, tend to pull in opposite directions. One of the strongest intrusions in the natural order – and yet one of that remains almost unnoticed – is the disappearance of darkness in our cities. In the attempt to make parks safe, we not only invade them with poles and cables. But we alter forever the circadian rhythm that is crucial for the existence of species, both animal and vegetal.
“Our strategy is twofold: on one hand is to design a light for public spaces that when is not in use can be as imperceptible as possible; light without a lamp. On the other hand is to take advantage of different types of sensors so that light appears just when needed, light only on demand.”
The O lighting design collection debuts at Light+Building 2018. Artemide and Elemental started their collaboration in May 2016 with a first encounter at the Gardens of the Venice Biennale, followed by a workshop in Milan and the opening of a technical and creative dialogue. The workshop was primarily aimed at exploring the range of possible design-based responses, including the design of an object, the development of a system, or the implementation of a technology.
All images: courtesy of Artemide.