Transformed by Light

Revealing What’s Around Us

Transformed by Light: The New York Night immersed people in illumination—the essence of the urban experience and symbol of the city’s power. The development of lighting technologies is inseparable from the nineteenth- and twentieth-century transformation of New York and most big cities. Inventors, designers, manufacturers, and consumers used light to reshape urban life.

This project encouraged audiences to learn how lighting functions, understand the roles of lighting in everyday life, and recognize the diversity of lighting strategies and technologies. It expanded understanding of how light defines our lives. Light enables access, sparks intense emotions, entertains and advertises, serves as a class marker, and distinguishes city from country.

Transformed by Light took people on a journey through nocturnal landscapes typical of past and present New York. Installations included bedroom, office, department store, nightclub, living room, and theater. Visual surprises marked an environment that evoked the shared space of the city—the street. The exhibition featured the work of ten lighting designers.


Presented at Museum of the City of New York, 2005.