We are an international, interdisciplinary team of urban researchers, designers, and policymakers
Leni Schwendinger, Founder
… is a published, award-winning authority on the many issues of city lighting, with more than 20 years of experience, creating worldwide illuminated environments. This work is shared through Leni’s public speaking and envisioning engagements, including “NightSeeing™, Navigate Your Luminous City” program, in Australia, cities in the Global South, North, and U.S.In practice, her projects focus on infrastructure, and public art such as NYC subway, bridges in Canada, Cleveland RTA, among others. She is a visiting research fellow at the London School of Economics, Configuring Light Program, a Design Trust for Public Space Fellow and recently served as a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Portland State University Department of Architecture. For more info
Dr. Ken Appleman
Dr. Ute Besenecker
… is a senior scientist and lighting professional with over 20 years of architectural, lighting design and academic research experience. Special interest in facilitating interdisciplinary collaboration between research and design, especially pertaining the impact of light spectrum on health and well being. Her doctorate was earned at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (NY).
Hui Ling Lim
… is an advocate for climate action, passionate about building healthy cities through policy & activities that connect to nature and community. As an urban planner, leader and startup advisor, she has been involved at the United Nations & curates World Cities Summit and Mayors Forum. She is Global Strategy Director at reSITE, participates in the Centre for Liveable Cities and the global Metropolitan Compact Task Force.
…is an architect and lighting designer. She has completed projects all over the world as part of international teams in Berlin and Lisbon. Joana has studied Architecture in Lisbon and Lighting Design in London, and worked in the last 13 years with renowned companies such as ARUP, SEAM Design, Lichtvision, among others. Currently she works as an independent designer and is based in Berlin and Lisbon. For more info and portfolio – https://joanamendo.com
…is an anthropologist concentrating on urban phenomena that produce cities. She studies the production of urban landscapes by other materialities such as noise, light, media, and art. Currently, she is doing an MSc Integrated Urbanism and Sustainable Design at Universität Stuttgart with a focus on gender and is an external consultant in social projects for Despacio.
… is the founder and director of Despacio.org. Psychologist, MSc Contemporary Urbanism LSE., focuses on urban development, mobility, lighting, and climate change projects in cities of the developing world. He has worked on projects in more than 30 cities in Asia, Latin America, and Africa and has published various documents on these topics.
…is a writer, and curator, investigating the semantics of space and its socio-cultural implications. Co-founder of PLANE–SITE agency– he produces & disseminates content through exhibitions, architecture festivals, conferences. He serves as Research Advisor, Curator for the Aedes Network Campus Berlin & The Metropolitan Laboratory. He studied sociology and urban design in NYC & Berlin.
Dr. Will Straw
… is James McGill Professor of Urban Media Studies in the Department of Art History and Communication Studies at the McGill University in Montréal. He is the author of books and 150+ articles on popular music, cinema, newspapers, and urban culture. His blog, urbannight.com, tracks developments in night-time culture around the world. For more info
…is an architect and urban designer based in New York City, NY. Her work spans scales such as master plans, urban corridor transformations, parks, transit-oriented/mixed-use developments, and buildings. She has worked on projects in Denver, CO; Dhaka, Bangladesh; Nanjing, China; and New York City, NY.
While her interests span many areas of architecture and urban design, she enjoys dabbling in community planning and design, streetscape design, urban agriculture, sustainable urban design, and transit-oriented development.
… combines her background in architecture with her advanced degree in Urban Policy to reduce bureaucratic barriers to successfully design urban spaces that prioritize the users. Her culminating Master’s thesis, “Nighttime Design, Prioritizing After-Dark Environments in Cities” creates nighttime design guidelines that involve localized enhancements to zoning, built urban elements, and progressive policies.