Lighting In Action
Independent Travel Study Proposal
A diverse group of MFA Lighting Design students are planning for a travel study to Puerto Rico January 15th-19th, 2018, to study the role of electric lighting in a state of emergency in a tropical post-hurricane environment. Our intent is to understand the conditions and challenges of electric lighting in disaster relief. We will be conducting interviews to understand the social impact of the lack of electric lighting in conjunction with analytical research on existing lighting condition in regards to IES recommended practice. While in Puerto Rico, we will meet with architectural professors, hospital administrators and researchers, as well as local residents. Our hope is to form a relationship with them to exchange knowledge and ideas between New York City and Puerto Rico with future collaboration in mind. We are looking for your financial support to make this initiative come true. It is time to start “Lighting in Action.”
We have already coordinated with various local community leaders and officials to set up interviews relevant to this study. A professor at la Escuela de Arquitectura de la Universidad de Puerto Rico is currently conducting work within several local Puerto Rican communities. He has graciously invited us to join him while visiting these communities and interview the residents about their experiences through the storms and the aftermath without power and lighting, as well as give his take on the current lighting conditions. An architect from el Proyecto Enlace Caño Martín Peña, has also agreed to be interviewed and introduce us to the eight communities he is currently involved with. We are currently in conversations with a member of the Universidad de Puerto Rico hospital to conduct an interview with hospital administrators regarding the impact of the devastation that affected the hospital and its surrounding area. This will help us focus more specifically on the need of electric lighting in these conditions. Additionally, we intend to visit Loíza, a small community still without power (and likely to not have power in January), where the Director NGO Taller Salud will elucidate some of the hardships the residents are facing without power and lighting.
Our interviews, research, and experiences will be documented as a short film that we are planning on sharing worldwide through our website starting with our NYC lighting community. This documentary will be focused on the lighting challenges and its effect on different communities throughout the island. It is our mission to represent visual accounts of the devastation in Puerto Rico which we hope will spur action within our community. Finally, this experience and documentary will be used in two thesis projects this year, those of Marién Vélez and Mreenmoy Paul, who are both studying conditions of Puerto Rico in hope to provide lighting design solutions for natural disaster affected areas.
Our study of lighting conditions is a student initiative to fully involve ourselves in real-world challenges. The relationships and networks we develop while in Puerto Rico, we hope to continue to build into a mutually beneficial exchange of ideas. Our vision is that this independent travel study in Puerto Rico evolves into perpetual effort of collaboration between us and local residents in remote areas who are in need. We envision that this collaboration continues in future years and that it becomes the first of many travel studies where we explore conditions and provide lighting solutions in disaster relief areas around the world.