LightmappingNYC | November 18, 2009

Here on Urban Omnibus, we are all about urban exploration, maps and interdisciplinary approaches to examining and designing our physical, urban environment. Leni Schwendinger is a designer and artist who works with light to combine all three, always asking the crucial, and often unasked, question: what happens to this environment after the sun goes down? In addition to proposing innovative answers to this question through the creative work of her firm, Leni Schwendinger Light Projects (check out Leni presenting her Triple Gateway project at Port Authority with Henry Stoltzman at the Architectural League), Leni has also been engaged in getting urban enthusiasts of all stripes to appreciate just how vital the illumination of our urban landscape is to our experience of the city. Next week, join Leni, urban designer Brian McGrath and architectural designer Ute Besenecker on a collaborative, dusk-to-dawn, close observation of public, private and found light sources in locations starting at Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral, 23 Mulberry Street.

Admission is free and open to the public, but requires registration. Space is limited; click here to register.

Get psyched by checking out this video of Leni’s observations of different light sources in the Village, inspired by the Professional Lighting Designers’ Association LightMapping events:

And they’re serious when they say dusk to dawn. The fun starts at 4:30, and all are welcome,  – but at 8pm the lightwalk leaders will address a general audience. Guests can come and go as they please, but the observations and discussion will continue throughout the “eight shades of night:”

Dusk – as the sun sets, depending on season, either the work day extends into the night, or daylight extends into the post work
Happy hour – the social extension of the work day, decompression time
Dining out – the date, the business meeting, the special event, window shopping, strolling
Cultural events – the rush to the movies, theater, the ballet, concert or opera
Night shift – cleaning crews, around-the-clock services, such as transit, and emergency repairs
and services begin
After hours – nightclubbing and after-hours clubs
Early risers – the first shift arrives, outdoor markets set up, newspapers arrive
Dawn – the commuters begin to arrive, power breakfast on Wall Street

But the fun doesn’t stop there. Check out the events page for more lightwalks – including one along the High Line – and then on November 18th there’s the final session: LightMappingNYC Presentations and Reception.

Date / Time:  Wednesday November 18, 2009, 6pm to 9pm
Location:  Jack Studios, 12th Floor, 601 West 26th Street, NYC

Sponsor: iGuzzini North America

Moderated by Glenn Shrum (PLDA), Lightwalk Leaders will give a short presentation of their photos / findings.  Presentations times will be limited to keep the overall program length down.  This portion of the event will be followed by an open discussion and a reception.

The November 18 event will also serve as the official US launch of Urban Nightscape, a new global magazine, which will be focused on promoting the lighting design professions role in the growing market of urban lighting design. The publication, which will be produced by German publisher VIA Verlag, will have a target audience of urban lighting design clients (e.g. city planning departments, urban planners).

Event is free and open to the public.

LightMapping NYC is intended to provide the New York City lighting design community with a forum to consider the current, past and future conditions of their urban environment at night.  The multi-part program will include a walking tour of The High Line, interactive group walks in the city at night, and a group discussion / reception.  Attendees are encouraged to join multiple events, but are also welcome to choose what best fits their interest and schedule.

A component of the PLDA’s global Lightmapping project, LightMapping NYC is a joint program of the PLDA, DLFNY, and IESNY, and is sponsored by iGuzzini North America.
Cassim Shepard served as the founding editor of Urban Omnibus from its inception to 2014.

The views expressed here are those of the authors only and do not reflect the position of The Architectural League of New York.


Leni Schwendinger November 11, 2009

We did the lightmapping/lightwalk last night – ALL NIGHT. There was terrific attendance, around 50 participants, including Brian McGrath’s Parson’s School of Design Studio. There was a surge of attendance at 8:00 – and we took one of my non-traditional light walks with everyone – with Brian filling in architectural and urban thoughts.

I am very excited to see how the all-night photo, text and diagrammed documentation all comes together.

More later.