Work & City Lab
Research Associate: Tom Jarvis
Research partner: Megaman Charity Trust Fund
Strategic partner: Paviom

City lighting is unevenly distributed. While business districts and tourist areas are brightly lit, many pockets of the city are under-lit after dark. This limits local trade and use of public space, undermining economic activity and social cohesion, and leaving many local urban communities in the dark. This project, supported by the Megaman Charity Trust Fund, set out to light urban public spaces at night in a more sustainable and inclusive way.

The project worked with local communities on the historic Boundary Estate in East London to explore alternative lighting strategies. Action research led to the proposal of a ‘night-time neighbourhood network’ of brightly lit ‘nodes’ that would encourage social activity around a chain of illuminated community facilities. Designer Tom Jarvis developed this hypothesis into a practical lighting system of tubular LED components that enables existing public objects such as benches, fences, handrails and bike racks to become luminaires themselves. A permanent installation of illuminated goalposts was built on a neglected playground on the Boundary Estate to test the concept and a book detailing the research was published.

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