A designer’s perspective
To understand the challenges designers face when designing external schemes, we recently caught up with Jonathan Rush, Director (Lighting Design) at Hoare Lea.
“Undoubtedly, safety [of individuals and road users] is a primary consideration when we design an exterior lighting scheme, but what is the balance of this with biodiversity? I think it’s fair to say that collectively, not enough time from the industry is spent on considering all areas of ecology, and a greater awareness needs to be made to encourage engagement in this area.
“Biophilia and the innate human instinct to connect with nature has been found to support cognitive function and psychological wellbeing. It is in our DNA to be connected to the outside world; plant life, oceans, stars… yet, the ability to design a scheme whereby the interior and exterior illumination work in harmony to provide the optimum balance isn’t always a given. Invariably, there is a lack of freedom to consider the overall context and space of a lighting scheme; and designing something in isolation can make it disjointed.
“The idea of smart cities, though, brings greater social connections and social wellbeing - thoughtful, sophisticated schemes that balance all emotions and needs. In this scenario, we have the freedom to question, ‘Why do we need to light something? What is the best way of doing it?’ And having control of lighting or tunable lighting must be a central part of this. The ability to dim down lighting when it is not in use and understanding broad colour spectrum (when to change spectral power rather than Kelvin), will lead to a more inclusive scheme.”