Parsons

Student Work

  • Lighting Design (MFA)

    Aditi Govil

    A Walk in a Woman’s Shoes: Re-thinking Lighting in Urban Nightscapes (2016)

    A woman’s place has historically been confined to the home. Consciously and unconsciously, this confinement became one of the principles of architectural design and urban planning of the last century.

    For a woman, the simple act of walking back home at the end of the night includes being on the lookout. A feeling of fear is a part of her everyday routine. Men on the other hand, due to physical and cultural differences, usually have the privilege of being ignorant of such scenarios. This research recognizes that danger cannot be eliminated by changing only one factor. It does, however, argue that the perception of danger can be influenced by lighting.

    This paper attempts to explain the specific factors influencing women’s perception of safety at night. It then addresses two connected questions related specifically to the field of lighting design: First, are there gender-specific conditions that people perceive within lighting in the urban night environment? Second, is there a quality of light that would help reduce a woman’s fear of nighttime?

    The site chosen for this investigation consists of a sequence of urban spaces that are a part of a female student’s everyday routine living in Stuyvesant Town, New York. The site analysis was performed in two segments: a field study and luminance mapping. The combination of these two analyses constructs the design framework and a lighting proposal.

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