Nightscape 2050 – Light in Singapore

by Dominic Teo
October 10, 2015 by Dominic Teo

Nightscape 2050 – Light in Singapore

Nightscape 2050 Travelling Exhibition is dedicated to exploring interactions between cities, light and people; as well as new horizons in lighting design in the year 2050. It is especially apt that it will be happening in 2015, as the UN has proclaimed 2015 to be the International Year of Light! Nightscape 2050 will have numerous exhibitions, masterclasses involving incredible designers and architects and is organized by Lighting Planners Associates (LPA) from Japan. We interviewed Director of LPA, Ms Reiko Kasai on what to look forward to at Nightscape 2050.

reiko kasai


Lighting Planners Associates are definitely not a household name in Singapore so of course I got Reiko to give a little introduction, after all, who’s more qualified? “Lighting Planners Associates (LPA) is an organization of lighting specialists established in 1990 in Tokyo, Japan by acclaimed lighting designer Kaoru Mende… LPA has been collaborating with internationally renowned architects and have participated in over 500 projects, largely in Asia.” Beyond doing commercial work, they are bounded together by a singular passion for lights. As such, they are “also very active in promoting the appreciation of lighting culture and awareness of good lighting among public with talks, workshop through its non-profit wing.”

As for Nightscape 2050 Travelling Exhibition, here’s what she has to say about it. “Nightscape 2050 is a unique exhibition dedicated to Lighting and is aimed to explore a completely new horizon of lighting design. This exhibition aims to explore the interactions between people, light, and cities in the year 2050. Endlessly evolving optical technologies have provided us not only the convenience but also the pleasure of freely manipulating light and shadow. On the other hand, the use of artificial light has greatly impacted the circadian rhythm of humans and animals, and we now face the problem of light pollution nearly everywhere.” Interestingly enough, the exhibition is a genuine ‘travelling’ exhibition due to how global it is! “This exhibition begins at Aedes Gallery in Berlin from August 7 2015, and then travels to the cities where LPA has offices: Singapore, Hong Kong, and Tokyo.”

Light is something that can be described as omni-present, it is everywhere and no matter the time of day, we can never truly escape it, especially not in a city like Singapore. Viewed from space or from a satellite, Singapore shines brighter than almost any other city in this world. With that in mind, how can we best utilize light for ordinary folks like you and I? According to Reiko, “Light is not just a switch on and off devices, you can do much more even at home.” For example, “you can create a big ambience difference by using candle (even LED candle is now commonly available), spot light for creating accent to specific area and object, dimmer.”

The LPA has been involved in numerous architectural developments over the years and being an organization full of architects and designers. I was of course curious as to which building in Singapore would speak the loudest to these enthusiasts! “We like Victoria theatre for utilizing the latest LED technology creating beautiful ambience to the heritage building façade; Gardens by the bay for the enjoyment of evening stroll (though we received lots of criticism from the visitors being too dim and heard NParks had to add more light).” 

Reiko Kasai_LPA_2

Architecture is huge in Japan, they take great pride in showcasing both their unique Japanese culture and heritage as well as their own take on ‘modern’ Architecture. While it may not appear to be similar in Singapore, that we have numerous buildings that can hardly be considered ubiquitous as well as the restoration of many of our heritage sites is proof that perhaps Architecture is regarded highly in Singapore. This is backed up by a little anecdote, “I would like to illustrate with the views of one of the master Japanese architects Toyo Ito, whom LPA has worked in numerous projects with. He recently completed “Capita Green” in Singapore and he told me he appreciates working in Singapore very much as people are generally open minded. He was very pleased with how the client (Capitaland) accepted his proposal for covering the high rise office tower in green right from the beginning. He said that would never happen in japan (because of strict regulations).”

Lastly, onto the event itself! There are numerous events and exhibitions under the banner of Nightscape 2050, so which exactly are the can’t miss events? ““Evolution of Singapore Nightscape” features how Singapore nightscape evolved over the last 100 years or so.  We conducted extensive research and dug out historic incidents and news related to lighting, and it will be showcased with 14-metre-long display of pictures, newspaper headlines, articles and texts.  This is also to coincide with Singapore’s 50th anniversary, as we looked back into the past, observe the present and look into the future nightscape of Singapore.” 

Thanks once again to Ms. Reiko for sharing her insights into Light, Nightscape 2050 and its impact in Singapore!

Learning from Children 2

For more information about Nightscape 2050, check out our event listing here!


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