Annual Forum

4th Annual TN Forum: 2005 / New York Main Street Lighting


Date: September 22nd, 2005
Program: City Tour, Symposium
Venue: AIA Center for Architecture

It was another beautiful autumn day in New York City for the 4th Annual Transnational Tanteidan Forum. It all started 4 years again in 2001 with the first forum held in Tokyo. The network of Transnational Lighting Detectives has since grown throughout the world and once a year the core members gather to stage, what has become, the annual TN forum. Presently, the core members consist of 11 members from 6 different countries. This year’s forum was presented by the New York Chapter and held at the Manhattan AIA Center for Architecture.

Main Street Lighting


This focus this year was again on public space, with the main theme: Main Street Lighting, a continuation from last year’s theme of Daily Transportation Facilities. Main Streets are a feature of most cities and the purpose of these surveys was to see how each core member’s city was illuminated. 200 plus architects, lighting professionals, and others gathered and passionately listened to the following 6 presentations.

The first presentation from Jason Neches, New York Chapter, featured Manhattan’s 5th Avenue, Madison Avenue, and Times Square. The valley-like form of these streets from being enclosed by tall skyscrapers is the most recognizable characteristic, but light from signage and window displays on the lower portion of the buildings creates most of the scenery along the streets.

Aleksandra Stratimirovic, from the Stockholm Chapter, repeatedly used beautiful blue moment pictures in her presentation of Stockholm. The plazas at the beginning and end of this main street featured light sculptures, landmarks in this city of melancholy winters.

Copenhagen Chapter member, Lisbeth Skindbjerg Kristensen, presented survey results from the famous Stroeget District of Copenhagen. The main form of street lighting in this area is through an efficient system of suspending lights over the streets from wires attached to buildings called Catenary Lights.

Singapore Chapter member, Reiko Kasai, centered her presentation on the current redevelopment of downtown Singapore street, Orchard Road. Presently, the street is lined with a monotonous line of sodium based streetlights, but she and others are anticipating what kind of changes will be made as redevelopment continues.

The Hamburg Chapter put a twist on the theme and featured the Elbe River and Lake Alster of this beautiful harbor town. There are of course main streets, but the busy Elbe River is more of a lifeline in everyday Hamburg. Light from buildings along the shore and docked boats present a unique view of a “main street.”

Leader of the Tokyo Chapter, Kaoru Mende, focused on Ginza Central Boulevard. Students from his Musashino Art University studio also participated in thoroughly surveying this main street. Survey results and research included the history of Central Boulevard, streetlight design survey, and a facade survey, but the highlight of the presentation was an 8-meter long scroll of 8 blocks along Central Boulevard. From this scroll the characteristics along the street, trendy new lighting methods, and light distribution were easily distinguishable.