Presented by the Designers Lighting Forum of New York

March 12-13, 2019

New York Hilton Midtown, 1335 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10019

2019 Open Light Source

Open Light Source: A Path Toward Lighting Design Activism

Nathalie Rozot, PhoScope

Tuesday, March 12
5:00pm – 6:00pm
Room: Nassau East
Credits: 1 AIA LU


Imagine lighting practice as activism. In this presentation, Nathalie Rozot will explain what differences rule project processes and product specifications in humanitarian actions versus typical lighting design projects, and how the nonprofit PhoScope proposes to scale-up humanitarian lighting design and education.

Light poverty is highly relevant to our field because it also starves populations from the qualities that result from lighting expertise, but social engagement in lighting lags behind other design and engineering fields and part of the problem is unfamiliarity. Ms. Rozot will explain how the off-grid market, product selection and QAQC processes differ from the commercial-grade architectural lighting market since solar-powered fixtures are often part of the solution in the absence of electricity, and she will show how successful projects result from community ownership and require strong local community organizations and effective team collaboration between designers and all local stakeholders.

PhoScope recently launched the Recreo de Noche program to rapidly deploy lighting on playgrounds in Puerto Rico as the preamble to its broader vision and strategy: bridge the lighting industry and light-starved communities. The initiative includes several Project Programs which are based on program-wide templates and offer multiple project opportunities, a Volunteer Training Program, and a framework to support teams with project logistics and open source databases and toolkits.

Many in the lighting field already support social engagement and excel at solving complex problems, accelerating innovation and engaging constituents. Now is the time to extend our expertise and share our knowledge, and become the lighting activists who lift lives and shift our industry’s culture.


Nathalie Rozot, PhoScope
Nathalie Rozot is a transdisciplinary designer who situated her design practice in lighting design in 2000 and the founder and CEO of PhoScope, think tank on light.

Rozot is the recipient of awards from the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) of North America, grants from the City of Paris, the New York State Council for the Arts, the New York State Energy Development Agency and Parsons; fellowships from the Graham Foundation for Architecture, the MacDowell Colony and the New York Foundation for the Arts; and sponsorships from the New York Foundation for the Arts and the Van Alen Institute.

She has taught in Masters programs at Parsons and Versailles and Lille’s Landscape Architecture schools, and served as education columnist for the IES publication LD+A and academic and professional juror. She writes and lectures globally on social and critical issues in lighting.

Rozot is a member of the IES and an educator member of the IALD.