Workshop at CHI 2013
Paris, April 27th 2013
Interactive City Lighting: workshop at CHI 2013

Important Dates

Submission Deadline January 18th, 2013

Notification of Acceptance February 8th , 2013

Workshop Saturday April 27th , 2013

Accepted papers are now uploaded!

Related websites

Preceding workshop at DIS 2012 Newcastle

Preceding workshop at Ami 2011 Amsterdam

Preceding workshop at INTERACT 2011 Lisbon

April 27th 2013, Paris, France
in conjunction with the ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2013. CHI is the premier international conference on human-computer interaction. The theme of CHI 2013 is changing perspectives.(

Introduction [back to top]

LED based lighting systems have enabled radically new possibilities in the field of artificial lighting. This is due to in part to the LED being digitally controllable which means this efficient light source can also be integrated with sensors and smart environments. This has opened up a new world of lighting and lighting interaction opportunities that has been applied in new concepts in many of the indoor lighting domains from homes to hospitality to hospitals. The outdoor lighting domain however has focused mostly on the LED’s efficiency and low cost of ownership to save energy and money for local governments.  The use of the LED as a potential means for providing interactive city lighting for social good or entertainment is as yet a fairly unexplored area. This is therefore the focus of this workshop to bring together a community of researchers, designers and technologists to explore the potential of interactive city lighting and how it could support or enhance the lives of those living in a city. Above all during the workshop we would like to: identify key opportunities for new forms of interactive lighting systems in urban context, explore interaction paradigms that can be (re-) used for interactive urban lighting, and examine adequate ways of prototyping and evaluating interactive lighting systems.


In previous workshops on the subject of interactive lighting systems (Interact 2011, AmI 2011, and DIS 2012), several topics were identified as being the core of this research area: semantics of light; light applications and technology; multi-user; and interaction paradigms. The conclusion was that with a greater understanding of these topic areas, others can apply interactive lighting more confidently to their particular applications. In this workshop we want to continue this exploration and promote research into this domain. In particular the focus will be on the different aspects of interactive urban lighting from the stakeholders’ perspective e.g. government, pedestrians, business, residents, wildlife etc. The goals of this workshop are:

  1. Identify key opportunities for new forms of interactive lighting systems in urban contexts.
    The urban environment is changing throughout the world and individual cities will have their own particular requirements; one size is unlikely to fit all in this case.  Therefore, the global reach of this conference will help us bring together a diverse group of people who can share their insights from their own work and cities.  This inspiration will help to stimulate ideas as to how different cities and communities may utilize interactive lighting. Differences and similarities between cities and people will be explored and recorded which can fuel new research topics.
  2. Explore interaction paradigms that can be (re-) used for interactive urban lighting.
    The CHI community has many years of experience in interactivity and applications of UI technology and this wealth of knowledge will be extremely useful in pushing this domain forward. Existing or new UI methods may be applicable to the urban context to assist with the needs and desires of the people that will be explored in the first part of this workshop.
  3. Examine adequate ways of prototyping and evaluating interactive lighting systems.
    The scale and complexity of many urban lighting systems makes the evaluation and prototyping of such systems challenging. In some cases virtual prototyping using systems such as a CAVE environment can be used. In other situations small scale models of the environment can be created to preview the interaction; however, it is not clear which evaluation method is best for particular types of installation.   Evaluation methods may be used to assess the light output and the acceptance of the wide range of users and stakeholders, such as residents, tourists, traffic specialists and police departments. 

Workshop structure
The first part of the workshop (the morning) will be dedicated to the introduction of emerging forms of urban lighting interaction (keynote by Emile Aarts) and the presentations of the individual attendees.  Time will also be given to prepare a list of topics for the afternoon session. In the afternoon session we will split into groups, with each taking one particular aspect of urban lighting (presented or identified during the morning session). We will then attempt to work out a concept of interactive lighting system and finally create a simple working prototype.

Call for papers [back to top]
We invite researchers and designers interested in exploring user interaction for new forms of lighting systems. Topics of interest include:
  • Interaction design for urban lighting systems including street, city parks, playgrounds and squares illumination, city beautification with interactive façades illumination and so on
  • Adaptation of existing UI paradigms to lighting systems
  • User studies of interactions that are or can be applied to interactive lighting systems
  • Intelligent street lighting
  • Prototyping for urban lighting systems
  • Evaluation methodologies for urban lighting systems

Submission instructions
To participate in this workshop, please submit a 2-4 page position paper describing your experience, findings, designs or interests relevant to the themes of the workshop. Please prepare your submission according to the CHI 2013 Extended Abstract format ( 

Papers or any workshop related questions can be submitted by email to

Organizers [back to top]

The workshop organizers are all active researchers in the area of user interaction, light control and light perception specifically focusing on new forms of interaction and collectively have considerable experience in organizing workshops on similar topics.

  • Dzmitry Aliakseyeu, Philips Research (The Netherlands)
  • Bernt Meerbeek, Philips Research (The Netherlands)
  • Jon Mason, Philips Research (The Netherlands)
  • Harm van Essen, Industrial Design department of Eindhoven University of Technology (The Netherlands)
  • Alexander Wiethoff, University of Munich, (Germany)
  • Elke den Ouden, Industrial Design department of Eindhoven University of Technology & LightHouse consultancy (The Netherlands)
  • Andrés Lucero, Nokia Research Center (Finland)

Any workshop related questions can be submitted by email to

Accepted Papers [back to top]

download all papers
  1. Angie Chandler, Carl Lewis, and Joe Finney. Scalable, Freeform Urban Lighting Displays.

  2. Arlene Ducao, Phil Seaton, Andrew Payne, and Melissa Chow. Collective Power: Social Pressure for Energy Conservation.

  3. Elke den Ouden, Harm van Essen, and Rianne Valkenburg. Socializing Light: Towards Interactive City Lighting on 4 levels.

  4. Esben Skouboe Poulsen, Hans Jørgen Andersen, and Ole B. Jensen. Responsive City Lighting: Perspectives From Architecture & the Public Lighting Industry.

  5. Heiko Müller, Benjamin Poppinga, Martin Pielot, Wilko Heuten, and Susanne Boll. Keeping Groups Together with a Public/Private Light Display.

  6. Henrika Pihlajaniemi, Toni Österlund, Tuulikki Tanska, Aulikki Herneoja, and Anniina Valjus. 3 X Interactive Urban Lighting: AUL demo cases.

  7. Jeroen Peeters. The Aesthetic Experience In Interactive Lighting Design.

  8. Martin Brynskov, Peter Dalsgaard, and Kim Halskov. Understanding Media Architecture (Better): One Space, Three Cases.

  9. Michel Witter, Bernt Meerbeek, Jon Mason, and Dzmitry Aliakseyeu. Interactive city lighting: exploration through design.

  10. Omar Al Faleh and Alkemie Atelier. Amorphous lighting network in controlled physical environments.

  11. Susanne Seitinger and John Warwick. Timing Is Everything: From Dynamic Lighting to Meaningful Experience.

  12. Sven Gehring and Alexander Wiethoff. Digital Light Installations – Connecting people through interactive buildings.

  13. Tom Bartindale. ThorDMX: A Prototyping Toolkit for Interactive Lighting Control.