Light and life as synonyms. A human being is not like a plant that thanks to the mechanism of photosynthesis is able to nourish itself independently. But there is clearly an interaction between light sources and human wellness. A recent report of the IEA-International Energy Agency estimates that about 1.3 billion people in the world have no access to electric light (mostly in Sub-Saharan African and developing Asian countries), and man has always sought to develop systems to make up for the lack of natural light where necessary.
The theme of energy consumption is also crucial for the life of the planet and the species that inhabit it. Precisely because we are spoiled by the ease with which we push a switch to get light, developing countries now face the need to develop systems of interaction between light sources, landscapes and environments to reconcile needs of sustainability, savings and aesthetics.
Such priorities couldn’t help but also be a central focus of Expo Milano 2015, involving many of the companies on hand at the Expo site. “We have always worked towards a light that improves the quality of spaces and contributes to better quality of life, through correct, sustainability equipment,” says Adolfo Guzzini, president of iGuzzini Illuminazione, a brand that is a leader in the technical lighting center, and has collaborated on 33 Expo projects including areas and pavilions. “Research and investment to achieve high performance solutions of the latest generation, conducted with studios and institutions on a worldwide level, are a central part of our corporate programs,” he adds.
The man-light-environment relationship also involves intensity, orientation and color of light rays. This leads, for example, to the ‘forest of light’ in the Enel Pavilion, one of the main energy utilities in Italy, a structure designed for the occasion by Piuarch, with an area of about 900 square meters. It is an evocative sight: the outdoor installation is composed of 650 vectors in polycarbonate, grafted onto a grille to create a sensation of ‘sharing energy.’
Visitors walk through dynamic beams of light that evoke the idea of the ‘Smart Grid’ that Enel Distribuzione has created to power the Expo site, a project that will also be extended to urban contexts in the future. The buzzwords: integrated ecosystems. A mission iGuzzini puts as follows: “to improve, with light, the relationship between man and the environment, through research, industry, technology and knowledge.”
The company says it is “committed to the pursuit of solutions and the increase of performance of lighting systems, convinced that a new economics and widespread wellbeing will be possible for a future based on sustainable development and vital energies, on quality of technologies and knowledge.” In tune with the celebrations of 2015, which UNESCO has proclaimed the International Year of Light.
by Paola Romagnoli – photos by Saverio Lombardi Vallauri