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Lighting design principles for placemaking in historic sites

Aslani, Shahabedin Zeini


Shahabedin Zeini Aslani


This thesis identifies the various interrelated areas needed in the research and preparation of lighting design schemes for historic sites as facilitators for placemaking processes. In doing so, it firstly focuses upon placemaking as an influential process in enriching urban spaces. Ball (2014) identifies the international nature of placemaking which he views as the “process of activating new or existing public spaces to create that emotional connection”. He explains that placemaking is understood as taking diverse forms that enable public spaces to function through design, programming, community empowerment, wayfinding, art, and whatever the needs of that particular community include. This thesis studies the different definition of placemaking through secondary research, and finally introduces a comprehensive definition of placemaking based on the finding in respect to lighting design as part of its contribution to knowledge. The thesis argues that historic sites should be seen as important infrastructures for placemaking in urban spaces. By linking the requirements of such sites and considering placemaking process obligations, the thesis develops lighting design principles for historic sites through the placemaking process. The design principles proposed in the thesis are supported by two case studies of UNESCO registered world heritage sites; the first is a best practice case study in lighting design while the second is significant in relation to its public lighting. Using ethnography research methods through observation, semi-structured interviews and questionnaires, the research identifies relevant experiences and opinions of local stakeholders, lighting designers and heritage experts. The data was then interpreted through thematic analysis which resulted to the presentation of the following arguments: Firstly, it argues that lighting in historic sites is an effective design feature which can successfully support placemaking goals. Secondly, according to this, it presents the historic site-specific aspects which deal with the authenticity of the site and the management factors, as well as people’s vital role which generates from placemaking as essential considerations. thirdly, it suggests lighting design considerations and characteristics that need to be taken into account as essential aspects in historic sites through placemaking process. Together, these recommendations provide the basis of lighting design principles for historic sites through placemaking. This evolutionary focus is intended to guide lighting designers to produce informed design decisions for historic sites and policy makers in heritage sites to develop lighting design regulation for such setting which will result in reaching successful placemaking processes.

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Nov 30, 2022
Publicly Available Date Nov 30, 2022
Public URL
Award Date Jul 6, 2022


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