In relation to an on-going safety project for the residential area called Bispehaven in Aarhus, ÅF Lighting has facilitated a lighting workshop involving residents from the area and representatives of the initiative. The safety project, initiated by the housing administration Østjysk Bolig, focuses on the social interactions, use and design of the outdoor areas and aims at increasing the life quality and feeling of safety for the residents of Bispehaven. Lighting can contribute essentially to creating safe, stimulating and inviting urban spaces, which was the reason to involve ÅF Lighting in the project. The lighting workshop was intended to collect valuable inputs from the residents with regards to their needs, demands and wishes for the future lighting installations in the area. Besides a good functional lighting for the public areas, the wish for a distinct visual identity was stated repeatedly.
Franziska Holmsted, Lighting Designer and Project Manager from ÅF Lighting:
“In order to create a successful lighting project that fulfils the specific demands and wishes for Bispehaven it was crucial to involve the residents in the design process at an early stage. In the end, they are the ones for whom we are developing the solutions and they will determine if the project becomes a success.”
Based on the ideas and input gathered from the workshop, ÅF Lighting selected five specific project areas in which to carry out a temporary 4-week lighting installation. The test sites should provide a glimpse of how lighting can change the appearance and usage of an outdoor area at night. Besides two playgrounds and a part of the main pedestrian axis, ÅF Lighting selected a high facade that marks the borders of Bispehaven towards the surrounding city. With the intention to display the values of Bispehaven as expressed by the residents and thereby sending a powerful message, ÅF Lighting created a word-matrix that was projected onto the full height and width of the gable.
Franziska Holmsted explains: “The lighting solution required a very powerful LED projector that would allow precise aiming and adjustments in order to avoid light interference for the nearby residents while obtaining optimal use of the projection surface. Based on previous experiences with the G-Spot from SGM, we didn’t hesitate to contact the local team from SGM in Denmark. As the budget for these types of projects is limited and doesn’t allow the purchase of products, we were very pleased about SGM’s offer to sponsor a G-Spot for the 4-week testing installation. Furthermore, we received professional assistance from SGM onsite regarding settings and programming of the lighting. It is great to work with people that are dedicated to their profession!”
The G-spot was placed on the top of an apartment complex, 85 m away from the façade, and it was programmed to display the message in different colours according to a pre-planned schedule.
The projection was set to be visible from sunset to midnight and again from 6 am to sunrise in order to minimise the exposure for the residents, while still providing the maximum effect. The words were displayed in varying colours that slowly changed during the evening. In the early morning hours, the projection was set to white in order to create a calm and subtle lighting expression.
The aesthetic and tailored lighting installation aimed at strengthening the feeling of affiliation and expressing the specific values and hopes of the residents of Bispehaven for the future of their neighbourhood. Translated into English, the Danish words used are pride, light, safety, comfort, people and solidarity.
The safety project continues and hopefully it will entail many creative and inspiring lighting solutions like this in the future.