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A SuperLux Christmas symposium at the Technical University of Münich

SuperLux speakers at sunset on the roof court of TUM’s Voerholzer Forum.

Germany-based essayists for the SuperLux book, and leading European light artists and lighting industry publishers and advocates, debated recent developments in the smart light cities movement, at an English-language symposium hosted by the Faculty of Architecture at the Technical University of Münich (TUM).

On a benign winter’s evening during the city’s Christmas celebrations, the faculty’s Acting Dean, Professor Hannelore Deubzer, welcomed speakers and delegates to its rooftop seminar centre, the Voerholzer Forum, then introduced Dr Thomas Schielke, a SuperLux essayist, light architecture columnist for ArchDaily, and a communications and education leader with ERCO, to conduct the presentations.

SuperLux essayists Schielke, Vesna Petresin, and the book’s editor, Davina Jackson, spoke about recent developments in urban light art. Another essayist, Peter Droege, clarified the beyond-urgent need to power cities only with renewable sources of energy, but noted that lighting amounted to only about two percent of the world’s total energy consumption.

Schielke conducted a video interview with Susanne Seitinger, a Boston-based leader of urban lighting design and research for Philips. Light artists Chris Bruckmayr (from the Ars Electronica FutureLab’s Spaxels project in Linz, Austria) and Thorsten Bauer (Urban Screens), showed daring new experiments with their LED-illuminated drone swarms and a next-generation media facade system installed on a Hamburg nightclub. Nuno Galvao from the Stuttgart and Sydney-based Laboratory for Visionary Architecture (European Architects of the Year 2016) showed LAVA’s ingenious new lighting sculpture and scheme for Philips’ headquarters in Eindhoven.

Three leading German lighting industry publishers and events entrepreneurs also spoke at the symposium: Joachim and Alison Ritter (directors of VIA-Verlag, which promotes the Professional Lighting Designers Association through its magazine and conferences) and Emre Onur (Licht magazine and Lichtwosche Münich) also explained their recent and next contributions to help accelerate the smart light cities movement.

The symposium was organised at TUM by architecture lecturer Lutz Harrer, who has indicated that the proceedings will be published as a print document later this year. The faculty has been considering setting up a light architecture program.

Foreign supporters of the symposium included the City of Sydney’s Customs House information centre, which supplied videos from its 2015 SuperLux exhibition, London publishers Thames and Hudson, which supplied sample books for display to delegates and Goldsmiths (Computing), University of London, as the host university for SuperLux writers/symposium speakers Davina Jackson and Vesna Petresin.

Here is a gallery of photographs from the evening.