Participatory Installation

Litre of Light

Mick Stephenson, Central Saint Martins students, MyShelter Foundation (UK)


During Lumiere we celebrated light in all its forms, but for many people access to light is a luxury. This installation highlighted how simple technology is changing thousands of lives across the world.

How do you create a sustainable light bulb? By filling a plastic bottle with water, adding a drop of bleach and pushing it through a hole in the roof, you can refract as much sunlight through it as a 55-watt bulb. Developed by Alfred Moser and students at MIT, MyShelter Foundation have since brought this simple idea to communities in developing countries and post-disaster areas worldwide. Further developments using solar cells now allow the same technology to bring light to whole communities for the first time.

In a collaboration between artist Mick Stephenson and Central St Martin’s students, issues relating to poverty, sustainability and climate change informed the design of this pavilion. Filled with bottles designed during workshops with local school children, Litre of Light asked us to acknowledge the growing need for alternative technologies to support our everyday lives.

Mick Stephenson has a track record of turning rubbish into beautiful illuminated art. His Litre of Light installation for Lumiere Durham 2015 attracted thousands of visitors to Durham Cathedral Cloisters. He also created installations for Lumiere Durham in 2011 and 2013.


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