a starry night.

Year: 2020 / 1 semester / lightweight architecture: field station

Today light pollution is a bigger part of people’s everyday life, roughly 83% of the world’s population lives under light polluted skies,
1/3 of the world’s population cannot see the Milky Way and cheap LEDs are overused just because its cheap. In reality the ever-growing problems of light pollution affects literary almost every living organism.

The problem is how we direct and use light.

The International Dark Sky Association defines light pollution as “the inappropriate or excessive use of artificial light.” Light pollution is the presence of artificial light in otherwise dark conditions and it’s a side effect of the industrial civilization.

Christopher Kyba from German Research center for Biosciences says that “It’s a place where you can reduce energy consumption with basically no loss to anyone.”


How can we solve the problem of light pollution?

One might solve the problem with architecture, but architecture alone cannot solve the problem. In my proposal I am making a structure, an installation, a tower that tries to show the user, the problem. To synthesize a reaction in people.

The structure is siteless, but supposed to be built up in an urban, suburban and rural context.

If we are to believe the word ‘nature’, with its ancient metaphysical and theological credentials, what is essential occurs in the depths. To say ‘natural’ is to say spontaneous. But today nature is drawing away from us, to say the very least. It is becoming impossible to escape the notion that nature is being murdered by ‘anti-nature’ – by abstraction by signs and images, by discourse, as also by labour and its products. Along with God, nature is dying. ‘Humanity’ is killing both of them – and perhaps committing suicide into the bargain.
-Henri Lefevre – Social Space, Chapter 2

The structure is thought of as a stackable module, where the façade changes depending on the context and height.

The façade is made in a way that there is no direct sunlight or unwanted glare that is “absorbed” into the structure.

Climbing trough each module you move partly vertically 180 and horizontally 180 degrees. This is so you actually have to experience each increment and see how the façade and light works. And to see the shadows.

As you can see in the section, it is also possible to look up trough a hole in the middle of the module

The structure in the urban context is placed there, not to show the stars, but show how little one can see. At night, or in the evening the path in the end leads you to the top of the tower. This room is totally dark, no view outside, except up to the sky. An aperture to show what is called sky glow.

I am aware of and most grateful for the benefits of the age. No matter what complaints we may have, Japan has chosen to follow the West, and there is nothing for her to do but move bravely ahead and leave us old ones behind. But we must be resigned to the fact that as long as our skin is the color it is the loss we have suffered cannot be remedied. I have written all this because I have thought that there might still be somewhere, possibly in literature or the arts, where something could be saved. I would call back at least for literature this world of shadows we are losing. In the mansion called literature I would have the eaves deep and the walls dark, I would push back into the shadows the things that come forward too clearly, I would strip away the useless decoration. I do not ask that this be done everywhere, but perhaps we may be allowed at least one mansion where we can turn off the electric lights and see what it is like without them.
-Junichiro Tanizaki – In Praise of Shadows