Other design ideas Bevolo discussed were “Media Windows,” in which
video is projected onto windows for passers-by to see, and a European
plaza in which a dramatic beam of blue light provides the focal point
where a statue once stood. In Poland, he said, workshop participants
came up with the idea of lighting some of the underpasses located
throughout cities to make them usable at night.
“These places are pitch-dark, and citizens don’t go there because
it’s dangerous,” Bevolo said. As soon as lighting was added to one,
families arrived and children spontaneously turned the space into a
playground, creating “the most touching moment of my life,” he said.
About the symposium
In introducing the “Green Light” symposium, Perry Chapman, professor
and associate chair of art history at UD, noted that the department will
mark its 50th anniversary in 2016 at a time when the arts and humanities are increasingly intersecting with the sciences.
“We need to look to a future” in which such collaborations continue and expand, she said.
George Watson, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, also
emphasized the connections among arts, humanities and sciences in his
welcoming remarks. A physicist, Watson said he worked as a laser
spectroscopist, seeking optically based devices to replace electronic
ones. As such, he said, light played an important part in his own
Watson also thanked the symposium’s supporters and speakers, and
particularly recognized Carol Nigro and her committee of volunteers for
their “tireless efforts” in organizing the event. Nigro, who received a
master’s degree in 1997 and a doctorate in 2009, has collaborated with
UD faculty, alumni and supporters to form the Friends of Art History, a
fundraising and advocacy group that promotes the study of the visual
arts at UD.
Other speakers at the symposium were Peter Y. Ngai, vice president of
OLED (organic light emitting diode) lighting at Acuity Brands; Giana
Phelan, director of business development of OLEDWorks; Ricardo Rivera, a
UD alumnus, visual artist, filmmaker and creator of the Nightscape
installation on view through Oct. 31 at Longwood Gardens; Anne
Militello, founder of Vortex Lighting in Los Angeles and head of
lighting programs at the California Institute of the Arts; Don Slater,
co-founder of the Configuring Light/Staging the Social research group at
the London School of Economics; and Matt Doty, associate professor of
materials science and engineering at UD.
The final session of the day was a panel discussion among those
responsible for executing Philadelphia’s June 5th Memorial Park, a
project to honor the six lives lost in the collapse of the Salvation
Army store in 2013.
“Green Light: Prospects in Lighting Design and Technology” is the
second in “Art and Science: Connections and Intersections,” a series of
symposiums dedicated to the seamless connections between the visual arts
and the sciences.
By examining topics that bind research in both the arts and sciences,
the symposiums are part of UD’s efforts to familiarize a diverse
audience from business, technology, the arts and academia, as well as
alumni and friends of the University, with its interdisciplinary
activities and its commitment to public humanities.
“Green Light” was a collaboration among the Department of Art
History, the Center for Material Culture Studies, the Harker
Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Laboratory and the College of
Funding was provided by UD’s Office of the Provost, the colleges of
Arts and Sciences and of Engineering, the departments of Art History and
of Art and Design, the Center for Material Culture Studies and the
Interdisciplinary Humanities Research Center. Additional support was
provided by “Connections and Intersections” sponsor Penn Lighting
Associates and by Digital Filaments.