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Lighting with children: exchanges on inclusive, participative creative lighting at LLFF2021

Over 190 participants from around the world explored creative lighting in cities at the Lyon Light Festival Forum (LLFF) on 8 – 10 December 2021 during the Fête des Lumières light festival.  

Organised every year by LUCI in collaboration with the City of Lyon, the Lyon Light Festival Forum offers creative lighting professionals a unique space to explore new forms of creative lighting in the urban space. This year’s LLFF focused on how cities can involve children and young people in designing and establishing better lighting policies and events for public space.

The LLFF 2021 was an in-person event that was also livestreamed online. The 80 participants present in-person at the event venue were joined by over 110 participants, making it an audience from over 44 different countries, with 23 official city representatives present.

Setting the stage – cities for children

Welcoming the audience to the LLFF were Tristan Debray, Municipal Councillor in charge of “the City of Children”, City of Lyon, and LUCI President, Meri Lumela, Deputy Chair of the City Council of Jyväskylä, Finland.

A keynote session “Cities for Children, Light for Children” with speakers Francesco Tonucci, Creator of “Città dei Bambini” project, and researcher at the Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technologies of the National Research Council (Italy) and Massimo Seri, Mayor of the City of Fano (Italy) set the stage for the day, with new perspectives & inspiration on creating inclusive cities with children.


Inclusive everyday urban lighting

The first conference session of LLFF 2021 explored how cities can effectively involve children, young people and their families in everyday urban lighting, with panellists Elettra Bordonaro, from Light Follows Behaviour and the London School of Economics, Lars Ocklund, Head of City Lighting at the  City of Gothenburg, and Thierry Marsick, Director of the Urban Lighting Department at the City of Lyon.

Speakers agreed that light is a powerful tool to bring play & interact with the generations of the future in our cities. Children and young people challenge our perspectives of the city and they should be associated to the building of urban spaces after dark, for the benefit of all citizens.

Creating moments of awe with children and youth

How cities involve and include children and families when organising temporary light events was the focus of the second LLFF 2021 conference session.

It featured speakers from Montreal, Jyväskylä, Turin and Lyon: Guillaume Aniorté, International Executive Advisor, Quartier des Spectacles Partnership, Montreal; Elisa Hillgen, Lighting Coordinator at the City of Jyväskylä; Matteo Scainelli, Project Manager, Cultural Activities Area / European Cultural Networks and Projects at the City of Turin; and Marion Traversi, Project Manager, Fête des Lumières at the City of Lyon.  Speakers emphasised the potential of using light and co-creation initiatives to spread the magic of art and creativity to youth.

Creative lighting initiatives from around the world

Participants discovered creative lighting initiatives from around the world through the LLFF 2021 Pecha Kucha sessions featuring speed presentations from artists, designers and festival organisers. Speakers BIBI, Radiance35, Noor Riyadh Festival, Glow Eindhoven, Ghent Light Festival, and Fête des Lumières artists, Renato González, Claudio Caciolli, and Stefano Fake, shared their innovations and projects.
See the Pecha Kucha speakers and topics here>>


LUCI, winner of LIT ‘Spotlight’ award

This edition of the LLFF was also the occasion to celebrate LUCI as the winner of the 2021 LIT Award “Spotlight” prize for its major contribution to the international lighting community.

On the 9th of December, Astrid Hebert, Director and Co-founder 3C Awards, presented the award to Sylvain Godinot, Deputy Mayor of Lyon in charge of Ecological Transition and Heritage, Public Lighting and Lighting Masterplan, representing the LUCI Vice President City of Lyon.  Read more about LUCI winning the Spotlight prize here >>

Behind the scenes of the Fête des Lumières

LLFF2021 participants also had the opportunity to meet and exchange with the Fête des Lumières team, learn from their experience and get a behind-the-scenes look at the event.

Marion Traversi and Romain Tamayo, Project Managers for the Fête des Lumières, and Julien Pavillard, Director of the Fête des Lumières shared their insights on new evolutions & perspectives for future editions of the festival : renewal, inclusivity, sustainability and international collaboration.

This year’s LLFF was also the occasion for new LUCI member city, Madrid to present its brand new light festival, LuzMadrid which had just taken place a few months ago in October.

Images (c) LUCI