Gender in Lighting and Dark Sky Forum

20 May 2022 // Activities

Gender in Lighting and Dark Sky Forum

On the evening of April 29, 2022, the Taiwan Dark-sky Association (TDA) invited two representatives from the International Women in Lighting (WIL), Ya-Hui Cheng and Jenna Liu to talk about gender in lighting and to discuss the prospects of night lighting. The forum was broadcast at the same time via Facebook and the online Yinzhiguang (elicht.cn) platform in Mainland China.

This forum was started with Miss Zhi-ying Li as a TDA Project Manager sharing her life experiences, her interest in nature, and the issue of dark space. The dark space related to the safety issue, especially for women, has been manifested in the society, if we don't think about it carefully, we may not realize it very much, and they are so subtle and imperceptible that we passively obey these rules. For example, we often heard that it is not safe for a woman to go out at night.

Ya-Hui as WIL Taiwan representative has introduced WIL and presented some research about gender issues in the workplace, from man and woman perspectives. The research mentioned how different men and women think, deal with the problem, and look at things, even on the color. The research also mentioned that for most women, feeling safe is the most important aspect when traveling. Based on the research, it was concluded that the quality of light is more important than the quantity of light as too bright is not always safe. The layer of light and the availability to recognizing is more important than just being bright. Besides, Ya-hui gave some examples and photo references on the ideas of light reduction, including the “Dark Design” concept, Moonlighting design, and even Indirect lighting by introducing some ways to reduce the unnecessary lighting by playing with the light layers, unitizing the light from the adjacent space, and even using the reflective light from the task lighting bounce back from the table to the ceiling as the space sensing light. Ya-Hui closes the speech with “Light Fasting”, the concept originated from Mr. Kaoru Mende, to make lighting environment “healthier”.

Jenna as WIL China representative made a comparison between the dark sky which correlate to the environment and lighting which correlate to the human being, in terms of light source selection, reducing glare, brightness, and size. She highlighted the lighting design for different genders based on the eye height. She gave some real-life photo examples of how different genders view the space and installation height of the light fitting differently.

Mr. Lin Axiou as TDA Chairman gave a speech about the philosophy of life, nature, and society. He thinks the patriarchal system constructed by society over thousands of years is quite stable, its structure is large, and in many places it has been taken for granted. And some are manifested in subtle places, if we don't think about it carefully, we may not realize it very much, and they are so subtle and imperceptible that we passively obey these rules. Lighting reduction arguments are always associated safety issues, and the female lighting designers are the stakeholders in both meaning. Dark-sky initiative must understand the deep concerns from women and lighting designers. So it is the first dark-sky advocacy dialogue with female lighting designers in Asia.

The forum ended with a Q&A with all the participants actively engaged in the discussion.

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