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June 16, 2020

Virtual collaboration between Mexico, Germany, and South Korea – Yunni Cho, BRDD 21′

by Yunni

My second week of the fellowship started with great excitement. An architectural designer and a lighting specialist born in Mexico City, Luca Salas Bassani Antivari joined my collaboration with Ulrike Brandi Licht and Lighting Detectives. All three of us already established a group for online chatting and exchanged email addresses to easily communicate between three different time zones. Luca’s office is located in Mexico City but he has a farm in a countryside outside of the city environment where he often stays for a weekend with his family. His involvement allowed us to have a diversity in the types of environment to gather primary resources through research and field studies. Our project will now include a port city of Hamburg through Ulrike, a country side farm and a high-altitude City of Mexico through Luca, and a volcanic island Jeju and a densely populated city of Seoul in South Korea through myself.

Earlier this week, I shared my initial ideas and project proposals to both teams along with the images I shared in my previous blog post. The presentation was successful, and everyone agreed to proceed and collaborate on (1) Transient Stillness as well as (2) Choreography of Light. And I was able to get some feedback on my proposal to make the project more cohesive and concrete. For our first project, Transient Stillness, we all decided to dedicate this week and next week to gather initial data on daylight conditions by sharing photographs and time-lapse videos. In each of our home countries, we will document how daylight changes throughout the day by doing 24-hour time lapse videos and photo collages. By sharing photos from different environment settings around the world, we hope to better understand the dynamic nature of natural light. Ulrike already shared her time lapse and photographs with us from Hamburg, Germany, which I attached below.

I couldn’t do my own time-lapse video this week in South Korea, as it is still a rainy season here. But I did capture some moments of daylight in Jeju Island through hand drawings. I focused on sunrise and sunset, time in which light changes the most at the fastest pace. I used white color pencil and ink pen on black paper to draw the light. Throughout the fellowship, I will continue to investigate and draw light. And I hope to find more new and creative ways to document light by continuously practicing my hand drawing skills. 

For our second project, Choreography of Light, we decided to come up with a preliminary list of books, articles, and movies for our research on urban lighting. Last week, I wrote the first chapter on the problem of light pollution and the need to preserve dark sky through a photo analysis of Hamburg. This chapter was influenced by a research I did with Ulrike Brandi Licht this past winter through a collaboration with an organization called Lucia. 

This past Thursday (June 11th), Ulrike shared exciting news that her office is now collaborating on the European project “Lucia – Lighting the Baltic Sea Region” to exchange knowledge on the subject of public lighting. The district office Altona became the lead partner of the project. Lucia begins by examining a section of the Elbe hiking between the Teufelsbrück ferry pier and the Jacob stairs. Particular attention is paid to the Elbschlosstunnel (the underpass for cyclists and pedestrians at the International Maritime Court), an important site for local recreation. 

An interactive map tool and a survey are already online for the public to evaluate the current lighting situation. On June 26th, Ulrike will be leading an open lighting workshop on the Elbwanderweg. In addition to the workshop, Lucia team is hosting guided evening walks along the pilot site in cooperation with experts from the nature conservancy union “NABU” and a local police department. This project follows the objectives of Lighting Detectives and serves as an important base for the following feasibility study and future lighting concepts. And as Ulrike and her team are being one of the core members of the project, I will be able to follow the progress and assist them as part of my research and remote work.

To be honest, I was not sure how to participate in an online internship and have the same amount of passion and investment as being on site. But this week gave me so much more confidence and excitement that a successful project can be done in a virtual platform. I feel very grateful to have an amazing team supporting me from both Mexico and Germany. And I can’t wait to see how this project will progress as time goes by.

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