However, many of us make a point of not being in outdoor spaces at night, alone or even with people. No matter how well illuminated a public space can be, it often carries a particular reputation that can be difficult to shake.
Fortunately, it is now possible to completely reinvent a space with the use of LEDs. Thanks to the decreased energy bills and increased flexibility, we can use LEDs to turn parks and public spaces into… well, whatever we want those spaces to be.
In Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, for example, lighting has been used to help transform a derelict toffee factory into a friendly, welcoming office space targeted at high end creative businesses. By using LEDs to illuminate the Maynards Toffee Factory with bright, colorful light – including turning the complex’s chimney into a giant ‘glow stick’ - the area has become a cultural hub.
It’s quite a change from its pre-renovation state, having stood as an empty shell ever since a fire in 1993.
We often see light art projects installed in outdoor public spaces, such as downtown Vancouver or, alternatively, run-down areas in need of some positive vibes. We’ve seen first-hand how light art can rejuvenate a space. So why not incorporate some into our public spaces?
We have seen, through the work of design professionals such as Sophie Valla, how a disused gas station can be turned into a focal point. Amsterdam’s Noorderpark, designed by Valla, is a re-imagining of neglected land originally situated next to highways.