designers present projects to bring quality illumination
to communities around the world

"From the Right to the Light to the Right Lights" Hosted by Parsons School of Design

Friday, March 13, 3-6 p.m. at The New School

Nathalie Rozot in Haiti

Nathalie Rozot on a night walk in Port of Prince, Haiti, in 2013. The lighting designer and part-time professor at Parsons School of Design is helping to bring quality illumination to about 1,000 families.

New York, NY (March 4, 2015) -- More than a billion people around the world live without access to electricity, but even more lack access to quality illumination—an issue that some lighting professionals are tackling through socially engaged design.

Several of those professionals will be on hand to present their projects and initiatives at an event, From the Right to Light to the Right Lights, on Friday, March 13, 3-6 pm at the Kellen Auditorium at the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, 66 Fifth Avenue, New York City.

Hosted by The New School’s Parsons School of Design, the event brings together designers associated with Concepteurs Lumière Sans Frontières (CLSF, aka Lighting Designers Without Borders) and Social Light Movement (SLM) who aim to bring quality illumination to communities in need. The event is being held in the context of the International Year of Light (IYL 2015), a campaign led by the United Nations that aims to raise awareness of the achievements of light science and its importance to humankind.

Participants will present projects and initiatives that serve a range of low-income communities, from the residents of public housing or informal settlements to the homeless. In a panel following the presentation, speakers will debate the role that socially engaged lighting design practices play and how education can support a stronger social culture in lighting practice and discourse.

“Lighting design is not a field known for socially engaged work, but some of us have been organizing nonprofits and providing pro bono design work for public interest worldwide,” says Nathalie Rozot, a part-time professor at Parsons who initiated and curated From the Right to Light to the Right Lights. “This event will highlight our work, and can serve as a catalyst for the broader lighting design and education communities to engage in similar practices.”

Rozot has long been an advocate for social activism in the lighting design professional and educational communities. Currently working in Haiti with CLSF and Fokal, a nonprofit which is part of Georges Soros’s network the Open Society Institute, Rozot is leading a pilot initiative to bring solar-powered lighting to about 1,000 families in Martissant, Port of Prince, which includes lighting for the community’s playgrounds, pedestrian circulations and homes.

Echoing the mission of IYL2015, Rozot notes, “When the sun goes down, quality lighting will enable people to better circulate, do business, socialize, read and study.” Lighting designers, she adds, “have a role to play in ensuring that the need for light is answered with the right lights.”

Rozot is also the founder of PhoScope, a think tank committed to facilitating change in the practice, education and critical study of lighting; and she serves as the education columnist for the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES).

Additional speakers at From the Right to Light to the Right Lights are Francesca Bastianini, senior designer at Lumen Architecture and an adjunct faculty at Parsons; Elettra Bordonaro, co-founder of SLM; Isabelle Corten, president of CLSF; and Ana Baptista, assistant professor of professional practice in Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management at The New School.

Parsons School of Design at The New School is one of the world’s leading institutions for art and design education. Based in New York but active around the world, the school offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the full spectrum of art and design disciplines. Critical thinking and collaboration are at the heart of a Parsons education. Parsons graduates are leaders in their fields, with a shared commitment to creatively and critically addressing the complexities of life in the 21st century. For more information, visit newschool.edu/parsons.

Founded in 1919, The New School was born out of principles of academic freedom, tolerance, and experimentation. Committed to social engagement, The New School today remains in the vanguard of innovation in higher education, with more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students challenging the status quo in design and the social sciences, liberal arts, management, the arts, and media. The New School welcomes thousands of adult learners annually for continuing education courses and calendar of lectures, screenings, readings, and concerts. Through its online learning portals, research institutes, and international partnerships, The New School maintains a global presence. Learn more at www.newschool.edu.

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Media Contacts:

Scott Gargan,
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gargans@newschool.edu



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