17. May 2018

The statement the “#WeLiveHere2017” project in Waterloo, Sydney/AU is making.

Text: Jo-Eike Vormittag
Photos: Javier Arcila, Jessica Hromas, Nic Walker, Tom Wholohan


From the lighting design point of view, one might go as far as to describe “#WeLiveHere2017” as a light sculpture, as the organisers and all involved in creating it tend to do. The emphasis is on the word “might”.

Before praising any installation our goal is to view the project as a professional lighting designer would do, and in this case in lighting terms we see the project as being no more than using simple means to apply coloured light to some windows in two high-rise blocks of flats in the Waterloo district in Sydney/AU. LED strips are mounted in the window frames on the inside of the building. From the outside the blocks of flats look funky – and certainly stand out.

Then again, the project addresses a number of issues. It is actually referred to as a “campaign” – which says it all. “#WeLiveHere2017” is a communal project, or a community-driven light sculpture, designed to make a statement.

And what enabled its makers to achieve the desired effect? Light. Light unites, light has a socialising effect, light attracts attention. The municipality has announced they will be redesigning the area in the quarter of the city surrounding the apartment blocks, which will involve revitalising it with new residential properties with high-priced apartments. The current inhabitants of the Waterloo flats began to feel out of place and unsure about their future, feelings that the organisers of “#WeLiveHere2017”, who included clubs, societies, associations and city officials, encouraged them not to simply suppress, but to transform into a collective statement using light. Which is what makes the project so iconic, rendering it a light sculpture of a different kind. Not because the lighting design is so professional and well implemented, but because light in this case represents a common feeling, linking those affected by the city planning department’s plans, and demonstrating that they have an opinion and a voice.


 

My opinion:

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