LED are not enough for a sustainable design

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In this interview, Susanna Antico explains why a fruitful approach to sustainability cannot base itself solely on lowering the power consumption of lighting systems
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  • 1. SPECIALE 24 Architect Antico, in your opinion, what is the role of urban light in terms of sustainability? I would rather say what could be the role of urban light. The answer is quite complex. In order to be able to talk effectively of its “role” in urban context, lighting should be seen as one of the key elements of urban management. All the aspects of a lighting system should be taken into account, not only energy consumption or number of fixtures. For several reasons, sustainability is considered only for some issues or elements that are more convenient than others. For example - and I will be provocative now – are there any studies that support the concept that the use of sources lasting potentially 50/100,000 hours can actually save energy and therefore allow a more eco-friendly use of resources? So, you are saying that LED is not the magic word that can solve any problem? Yes, that’s right. Apart my doubts on the sustainability of LED lighting in terms of production, raw materials, transport and disposal, we must also consider the fact that, at this moment in time, She is an Italian architect and lighting designer with a European sensibility, as well as one of Italy’s major experts in lighting design. In this interview, she explains why a fruitful approach to sustainability cannot base itself solely on lowering the power consumption of lighting systems SUSANNAANTICO LEDs are not enough for a sustainable design Map of Antwerp - District of Berchem The Lighting Masterplan developed for the city of Antwerp concentrated efforts on town planning, where light is regarded as an element that enhances and distinguishes the city. In particular, Studio Susanna Antico selected a cooler light for the main streets that connect the different areas of the city, and a warmer light for secondary streets, monuments and parkland. Rendering Studio Susanna Antico
  • 2. 3000 lm 4500 lm w w w. f o s n o v a . i t FOS NOVA s.r.l. 20089 Rozzano (MI) via Como, 9 centralino 02/824771 (20 linee passanti) telefax 02/8252355 Ufficio vendite: fax 02/89202203 Email: info@fosnova.it web: www.fosnova.it Office 2 LED Nuovo Office 2 LED...La soluzione. YEAR X - ISSUE 1/2013 INTERNATIONAL edition disanolightingmagazine-YEARX-ISSUE1/2013 Major projects Vladivostok, the bridge of records edited by
  • 3. Shop windows, sale signs, and the exterior lighting of monuments and buildings: all to go dark starting from one o’clock in the morning. This is what will happen following a decree that will enter into force this summer in France. It is also the consequence of the global crisis combined with energy- saving policies usually labelled as “sustainable development” strategies. But, is leaving our cities in the dark, making them lonelier and unsafe at night, really the right thing to do? We want our cities to become more sustainable, of course, but we also want them to be more liveable during the day and at night. Therefore, simply turning off lights and bringing us back to decades ago cannot be the right solution. Innovative technology that can save energy without leaving us in the dark exists, and we have given numerous examples of this through the pages of our magazine, including page 17 of this issue. In addition to the decree in France, we have also collected a series of information and news from around the world proving how we are far from achieving a truly sustainable lighting, i.e. one that is based on technologically advanced sources and up-to-date fixtures. A solution that can be applied to all aspects of city life, including mobility. In our article on page 32, we will deal with underground railroad systems. It is a means of transport that has been available in Europe for 150 years, and that continues to attract interest for its ability to move millions of people in a fast manner without affecting the urban fabric. And LED lighting is a real revolution in terms of energy use of underground stations where lights are always turned on. Energy savings also come with an improved visual comfort for passengers. So, energy savings plus greater light quality is the formula we need to use to head towards a brighter (and more sustainable) future. Giorgio Sottsass The unbearable return of darkness EDITORIAL
  • 4. 2 Quarterly news magazine specialising in lighting design Registered before the Court of Milan under No. 114 on 01/03/2004 Editor Giorgio Sottsass Editorial editor Alessandro Visca Art director Elda Di Nanno Art director MT Languages, Milano Scientific Committee Giancarlo Marzorati, Architetto Aldo Cingolani, Architetto Raffaella Mangiarotti, Designer Massimo Marzorati, Lighting Designer Deborah Burnett, Designer Chiara Dynys, Artista Vladimir Kocet, Lighting Designer Zrinko Simunic, Lighting Designer Publishers Newton EC srl, Milano Editorial staff Monica Autunno, Chiara Bellocchio, Greta La Rocca, Costanza Rinaldi Iconography Fotolia (cover, pp. 18-21, 23), Guido Clerici (pp. 4-7, 56- 63), Mikaela Burstow (pp. 10-15), Cristian Miola (pp. 26-27), New Press (pp. 38-41), Archivio Ufficio Stampa Roma Capitale (pp. 42-45), Nicola Jannucci (pp. 48-55), Linus & Wilhelm, baraBild (pp. 68-73). Publishing house Newton EC srl, Milano Printing company Grafiche Mazzucchelli spa, Settimo milanese (MI) All information is stored in electronic form and will be used by “Newton EC srl, Milano” only for the purpose of sending this publication and other material. Pursuant to the Italian Privacy Law 675/96 art. 13 you may ask to view, update and delete this information at any time or oppose to its use by writing to: Newton EC srl, Milano Via Dezza, 45 20144 Milano. DISANO LIGHTING MAGAZINE Year X • number 1 January-April 2013 NEWS from Italy 4 MILAN Visiting the Jewellery Room 8 An interpretation by Chiara Dynys Symbols and geometry in Piero NEWS from all over the world 10 BETLEMME Palestine’s Conservatory With a traditional stone façade 10 VLADIVOSTOK, RUSSIA The bridge across the icy bay 64 STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN New lights for sports and entertainment 68 MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA New lights for the Australian Open
  • 5. 3 17 SPECIAL SUSTAINABLE LIGHT 24 SUSANNA ANTICO Leds are not enough For a sustainable design 26 AURA. Sustainability with style 27 DISCO. LED lighting with no limits 32 MOBILITY Moving by underground 38 MILAN. Objective efficiency 42 ROME. Creative stations 46 WARSAW. Leds and geometry at the airport station PROJECTS 48 CALZEDONIA Opens a new head office in Moscow 56 MARRAS From repair shop to fashion house 62 ANTONIO MARRAS. Not only fashion 77 LIGHT YOUR LIFE SUMMARY
  • 6. SPECIALE 24 Architect Antico, in your opinion, what is the role of urban light in terms of sustainability? I would rather say what could be the role of urban light. The answer is quite complex. In order to be able to talk effectively of its “role” in urban context, lighting should be seen as one of the key elements of urban management. All the aspects of a lighting system should be taken into account, not only energy consumption or number of fixtures. For several reasons, sustainability is considered only for some issues or elements that are more convenient than others. For example - and I will be provocative now – are there any studies that support the concept that the use of sources lasting potentially 50/100,000 hours can actually save energy and therefore allow a more eco-friendly use of resources? So, you are saying that LED is not the magic word that can solve any problem? Yes, that’s right. Apart my doubts on the sustainability of LED lighting in terms of production, raw materials, transport and disposal, we must also consider the fact that, at this moment in time, She is an Italian architect and lighting designer with a European sensibility, as well as one of Italy’s major experts in lighting design. In this interview, she explains why a fruitful approach to sustainability cannot base itself solely on lowering the power consumption of lighting systems SUSANNAANTICO LEDs are not enough for a sustainable design Map of Antwerp - District of Berchem The Lighting Masterplan developed for the city of Antwerp concentrated efforts on town planning, where light is regarded as an element that enhances and distinguishes the city. In particular, Studio Susanna Antico selected a cooler light for the main streets that connect the different areas of the city, and a warmer light for secondary streets, monuments and parkland. Rendering Studio Susanna Antico
  • 7. SPECIALE Church in Old Berchem, Antwerp In residential zones, lighting must help create a sense of safety and provide a uniform light distribution. In this case, the selected fixtures guarantee the right level of light intensity for both vehicles and pedestrians. Here, too, Studio Susanna Antico decided to use a secondary accent lighting effect to highlight the details on the façades of the homes and of the Church, which turns into a stage at the end of the street. Thanks to the continuous development of technology, designers are now able to use energy-efficient fixtures and sources; is this enough to improve the quality of light? No, it isn’t. Too many designers think they can develop a lighting project using only a fixture’s technical specifications, without any expertise in design. It is a cultural gap that exists in Italy, but that I have also found in many other countries in Europe. In order to obtain good results in terms of energy savings and light quality, we need specific design solutions. Let me cite an example. Today we can create urban lighting systems with a great visual impact, very low consumption rates and an expected life of 30 years. But do cities really want to keep the same lighting systems for such a long time? A wise designer will introduce elements of flexibility that will improve the management of the system over the long term. In practice, even the best light sources without an adequate lighting design are worthless. there is a great deal of confusion on standard parameters. In Italy, like in Belgium, and in many other countries across Europe, city mayors are signing absurd protocols where they commit to unrealistic energy-saving targets. The calculations and the evaluations on possible energy savings are often full of mistakes and neglect the primary goal which is to improve the quality of life of citizens and find a good balance between different aspects. It is necessary to use the competence and expertise of professionals specialised in lighting and wide- spectrum programming that go beyond mere “light bulb mathematics”. Reducing the watts of a lighting system by upgrading lighting fixtures is not the only factor to take into account. In reality, it is necessary to radically change the way we consider, and therefore, design public lighting; we should no longer talk about street and monument lighting, but we should start considering the project in terms of environmental and urban lighting. Taking all this into account in a single project will generate not only great visual comfort but also a more careful use of energy. 25 Grote Markt - Antwerp Like all the other central squares in Belgian cities Grote Markt in Antwerp is full of historical buildings and monuments. In this case, lighting was divided into two parts: human-scale general lighting to provide high level of uniformity, and accent lighting to emphasise the architectural details. This will allow the visual elements, which are clearly recognisable during the day, to be admired also at night. SPECIAL Rendering Studio Susanna Antico Rendering Studio Susanna Antico
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