Lighting design, being the practice of applying and designing light in space and time, is in dire need of a dramaturgy that would open up the conversation about what light is, what it does to our perception and how it is a fundamental agent in our everyday and ongoing sense- making processes. Using, transforming or applying light to a progressive, performative situation is a complex and shared practice, intimately connected to the creation of spacial and temporal experiences, in which light should itself be seen as a performer that communicates directly to an audience instead of merely enabling (human) performers to be seen (in a certain way).
Lightdesign has set itself free from scenography. And has developed ways to communicate with it, and with the performance as a whole: light is acknowledged to be one of the layers of a performance, and in the best of cases an as communicative layer as the others.
Unlike the idea of the neutral black box – a non-space in which it is agreed to unsee the space and it’s machinery – space is now allowed to influence the performance. And the role of the lightdesigner is to decide the point of view for the spectator. Such he is both cameraman and monteur of the performance and an important co-creator of the project. A position that requires an involvement in all the steps of the creation.
Thus lightdesign is at least in an ambiguous position these days. It is to be considered as an independent arts - more and more – but the circumstances for its creation haven’t changed: in general there’s no isolated time and space in the schedule of a residency or creation to work on the lightdesign.
The lightdesign residencies can try and create ways to deal with the consequences in this view on lightdesign: finding time and space to do – independent – research/creation on lightdesign. Thus – and ideally - the ‘lightdesign residencies’ are an attempt to install:
- Time - and space, if needed – for personal experiment and reflection
- A technical environment for research that is not part and parcel of a creation-proces. Fully aware that the lines in between are thin, and that a full separation is nothing but theory.
- A meeting with the colleagues in a peergroup, to discuss the problems and outcomes of the research.
The lightdesign residencies and meetings are thus not an attempt to find common grounds but generate opportunities to learn about and gain a mutual interest for personal projects. And to discuss possible answers to issues within these research processes.
The meetings can then – at its max – be considered as attempts to share solutions.
 And though the question is relevant, the residencies tend not to be the technical research as a part and parcel of a specific creation. It is acclaimed that this time is to be acquired within the program of the creation itself.
 Thus avoiding the discussion wether they need/can be result-inspired. Yes, they can but, no, they do not have to be.