SEETI is a field survey using practical methods to analyze the experience of artificial light in the city from a specific case study: the center of Milan. The field survey from a particular case study: Milan downtown between Piazza Cordusio and specifically the Palazzo dei Mercanti, the Duomo and Piazza San Babila, investigating the relationship between light, users of the space and the environments through passages and porches, walkways, tunnels and glass urban voids, the unused spaces. This particular zone has been chosen because the center of the city is generally particularly interesting from the point of view of the complexity of the installed artificial lighting and the activities that in this “Great Good Places” occur.

Cities all over the world are highly illuminated: due to the rapid economic development and rapid urbanization, cities have become increasingly bright for safety reason and general décor or pleasantness of public space. Lighting uniform though the highly functional lighting pole, led to a flattening of the experience of light in the night city although focusing on energy efficiency. Too much light, often, instead of improving the perception of urban space, affects humans and the environment itself (lighting pollution).


SEETI takes place either in vitro (in laboratory) and in situ, carrying the Light Laboratory as part of the city, in direct contact with the lighting of the place, the activities that are practiced there and the complete experience of the night urban environment in order to better analyze the mutual relationship between light, city, people. The focus would be understanding the complexity of the space in relation to different kind of artificial lighting used for visibility and informational and communication reasons: the analysis will be useful to understand the complexity and legibility of the space. Quantitative analysis will evaluate also the general energetic efficiency of the space.

SEETI wants to represent the actual status lighting in the city  thought the complete immersion into the space by analyzing and observing the light in its context of use. The empirical study includes an accurate in situ observation of lighting that include analyzing specific case studies, criticize the existent lighting and being inspired by the best installed lighting projects.The observation on the field is performed by means of lux meters, luminance meters, instruments able to evaluate color temperature, but also by means of cameras  and maps on which taking notes and making sketches. Full documentation is used to create case studies that focus on the interrelationships between these different kind of lighting, patterns of use, materials of the surroundings and spatial context.

Research Aim

Drawing on tools, methods and techniques in order to make a diagnostic analysis of the illuminated city at night, the purpose is twofold:

1 | Mapping of light

This is a clinical analysis of the territory focusing on some key parameters in order to map the light in the urban area and to create a sort of abacus. From this point of view, the maps are partial representations of reality because they offer a reinterpretation of the territory according to a particular point of view: show features and details chosen depending on artificial lighting that is the issue to detect and highlight. The new series of maps of the selected portion of Milan will highlight traditional and new elements of light, atypical and unconventional lighting elements that determine the lighting identity of the space.

2 | Critical Reflection

The insights derived from the analytical and critical reading of this new map of central Milan will lead to the creation of a critical project on the basis of these spaces and, potentially, to the creation of new scenarios of light that will improve the conditions of life in these areas, enhancing the perception of the urban environment. By focusing on inspirational items, on atypical lighting systems that connote interestingly the space, several guidelines, scenarios and new solutions will be outlined in order to enhance the attractiveness, safety and sustainability of the area examined.


The aim is to open a debate on the issues to lighting (lighting consumption and lighting perception) in the context of urban public space, in order to create a platform for discussion built on the analysis of the situation and source of inspiration and consideration for potential new projects, taking into account parameters of energy efficiency and social sustainability.

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