9th December 2022

Old cotton Flöha

Light concept old cotton Flöha

“City Lighthouses” concept wins award.

Competition Award for Lighting Design Concept to “Re-Animate” the Heritage protected city “Cotton Mills” area of the city of Floha in Saxony, Germany.

“Re-thinking the Inner City and heritage”

“Flöha receives award in the competition “Ab in the Mitte! The City Offensive Saxony” 2022

Under the motto “Creatively out of the crisis – rethinking the inner city”, 34 project ideas for revitalizing inner cities were submitted by 33 municipalities.

The award ceremony took place as part of the Heritage trade fair in Leipzig on November 25, 2022.

“Ruairí O’Brien . Lighting Design” developed a lighting design concept for the old cotton industrial buildings in the city of Flöha.

This is part of a bigger development to develop the new city center in the old cotton mills which will include the new market place, urban landscaping and dynamic lighting.

Head of Building Authority, in The City of Floha, Andre Stefan accepted the congratulations and the certificate from State Secretary Thomas Kralinski (SMWA).

Flöha’s project idea is to install interior lighting of the three towers on the “Heritage building” with dynamic resource-saving LED lights.

It is intended to be the first building block for the implementation of accent lighting and to contribute to making the cubature of the largest building complex in the Old Cotton area appear in the early evening hours in a timely and sustainable controlled manner.

It will “attract” life into the future city center, support businesses and tourism in their development and increase the experiential quality of the citizens and visitors.

“The “Cotton Mills” area in Floha is an important example of the wealth and identity of Saxony’s innovative industrial History. We need to put the historical richness of such towns and regions in the “Light” to ensure their future and development. That is the idea behind “Lighthouses” for Floha”

Ruairi O’Brien.

Below is one of our visualizations used for the competition entry “Light Towers” of the city of Flöha 2022.

5th October 2022

„Lights Out“?
„The Right to Light at Night“

A commentary by Ruairí O’Brien:

„Lights Out“ is the call from many to save energy and even to win the so called „Energy War“.

I ask all to Re-Think or question this simple call …
It is not the quick solution it appears to be.
The answer to our „energy wasting“ problems needs more holistic diverse action.

If our inner city areas go black in winter then the economic costs will be worse …

City businesses and City culture are under enough pressure from „stay at home“ online offers, comfort food delivery, comfort internet shopping, comfort online Tv and Streaming services.

Light at night in the city is celebrating the democracy of public space and life itself.

I have taught students for over 20 years about the „right to darkness“ and the importance of reducing unnecessary glaring light and light pollution in our cities at night.
With GOOD and intelligent LIGHTING design concepts we can SEE MORE at night WITH LESS LIGHT.

That is where we can save energy and improve the beauty and quality of our cities (and reduce light pollution).

If this crisis helps us to unlock the potential of good light and to debate the importance of „LICHTKULTUR“ for modern healthy beautiful cities then this can be great, but it should not lead to „LIGHTS OUT non culture“.

Posting An excellent interview with Helmut M. Bien in the FAZ which gives a very good overview of the nuances involved in this debate.
Well worth reading … !

Titel Image to the article in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Sunday, 02.10.2022
“The most important thing is to think about light”: staging at Frankfurt’s Römer during the Luminale festival of light culture in 2020, Photo: Francois Klein,


Energy saving can be “designed”!

Cities are “the place to be” and deserve good LIGHT.
The revitalization/development of city centers needs LIGHT, it is a question of quality and not quantity.
Cities and buildings need better and more intelligent lighting concepts …
We should try to protect and promote sustainable “City LIFE” by using the current debate about energy waste to rethink the quality of lighting in our cities.
Light attracts and creates moods for interaction and exchange, our cities need to be attractive to be (economically) sustainable.
“See more with less light” and enjoy city life – this is possible with holistic creative concepts and dynamic intelligent lighting technology. Achieving the right balance of light and dark in cities is first and foremost a creative task. Energy saving can be “designed”!
Ask a lighting designer first….
This is a call to urban planners, politicians, decision makers, offices and citizens to take the chance to discuss openly with lighting designers about “LIGHT CULTURE” and energy, the culture of good and sustainable light in our cities and towns.

Translated with (free version)

Drawing is from a lighting concept for the revitalization of an unused industrial building, “Spinnereimaschinenbau” in the city of Chemnitz, Germany (2018).


The DAY of natural LIGHT

Today, June 21, 2022, is the summer solstice and thus the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere of the earth. On the occasion of this event, we would like to celebrate the light of day, which is usually taken for granted, and point out its great importance in architecture and lighting design. In our planning, we work specifically with the natural light of the sun and integrate daylight into our projects both functionally and creatively. Because daylight is fascinating, constantly changing in its intensity and color.


& Immersive Installations “DAY and “NIGHT”

Today the first-year Visual design students will be finishing their semester with a special one-off experience, a final “Happening” to round up the last two semesters we have spent together.

The term “Happening” is broadly used in the art scene to describe a moment in time (and space) were we heighten the experience of our senses and of life by choosing to meet, to engage, to do something together, to observe or participate in an action, to be there in the moment, to allow a moment be special.

More information can found here.


Light Machines:

Today is the last chance to visit the exhibition of “Light Machines” made by my lighting design students at the German University in Cairo. 

The “Light Machine” project is a teaching concept I first developed and introduced to the lighting design masters program in the university of Wismar, Germany 20 years ago and I am fascinated to see how robust it is in absorbing the dynamic process of changing technologies.

The project challenges the student to develop and make a kinetic sculptural object that can be used to demonstrate the principles and inherent characteristics of light (+ technology) and the interaction of light with space, materials and humans. 
It is Beautiful, Educational, Science and Art.



Thank you Habiba Walid for making a great poster for our “Light, Color and Materials” exhibition on the 07.06. @ the German University in Cairo.
The students work is looking good, drop by and have a look…!


International Day of Light

Today we celebrate the Unesco international Day of Light, as every year since 2018.

Among other things, it aims to raise awareness of the role that lighting design and the targeted use of technologies play in achieving greater energy efficiency or limiting energy waste and reducing light pollution, which is also key to maintaining the visibility of the night sky.

International Day of Light is held on May 16, the anniversary of the first successful use of the laser, in 1960, by physicist and engineer Theodore Maiman. The laser demonstrates how a scientific discovery can bring revolutionary benefits to society. It is celebrated with many different events around the world, where all participants can develop an understanding of the role of light in science and culture.

More information can be found here.


Installation works New Work – lighting concept

Photos of our office extension project, which is close to completion, from the joint inspection with the management of the future user. We accompany this project not only architecturally, but also with a lighting concept for modern working environments of today, tailored to the individual requirements of each area. In the next few days, the installation of the luminaires will be completed, but there is still some work to be done before the object can be handed over to our client in the fall.

We are looking forward the newly created space being used and offering our client a workplace where people like to stay and work well.


International Dark Sky Week – April 22 – 30, 2022

For us as lighting designers, the protection of darkness and thus a responsible use of light is very important. In lighting design, the motto is: Less is more. That’s why we support this year’s “International Dark Sky Week” to draw attention to the problems that light pollution causes. Light pollution can disturb wildlife, affect human health, waste money and energy, contribute to climate change, and block our view of the universe.

So get informed about light pollution and support International Dark Sky Week.


Unterwegs im Licht 2022, Freitag

Since last Friday, until tonight, our urban “Soundless Music” light composition for Potsdam Unterwegs im Licht 2022 is running. The photo shows Potsdam’s Nikolaikirche in a blue dress of winter light, with which our composition started on Friday evening. Over spring-like green light moods on Saturday and summer-like yellow-orange light scenes on Sunday, the four days of Unterwegs im Licht 2022 end today with a thoughtful backdrop of dark red tones, which are accompanied by light moods from ALL MAIN COLORS of the color spectrum for the FINALE at 9 pm.

Photo by Alexander Rentsch.

Link to the issue:


„Soundless Music”

The illuminated Potsdam city center 2022

This coming weekend our “Soundless Music” LIGHT concept will be presented in the City of Potsdam.

Starting Friday and ending Monday we have developed a lighting concept that sets the city each evening in a color composition that expresses in “Soundless Music” the universal process of THERMODYNAMICS.

If you want to know more click here.



Daylight design in architecture

For this year’s first Design Studio at the German University in Cairo, Ruairí O’Brien worked with his students on the importance of daylight in housing.

LIGHT is an energy, life and mood-giving force in architecture.
The special properties of the morning, midday and evening sun can be used to model and shape the architectural volume (the importance of northern light). Light can be used to shape walls, position openings, and form roofs.

For example, energy conservation also begins with providing excellent daylight to building occupants and reducing the need for artificial lighting. Understanding how light and shading can be used to create thermal comfort for occupants is critical to building success.

The architecture of light is about beauty and the intelligent use of resources.
Daylight can be used for free and its tremendous value is widely underestimated in the building industry. Architectural design begins with an understanding of this resource.




Prof.’in Mary-Anne Kyriakou

Dr. Emrah Baki Ulas, University of Technology Sydney

Ruairí O’Brien, Architekt und Lichtdesigner

“Die Lichtdesigner Community ruft im Allgemeinen und was den Klimaschutz anbelangt, den Kampf für die gute Sache (Licht) auf. Wenn der Kunde es aber möchte und dafür bezahlt, machen wir vor allem schönes Licht, wir beleuchten – unabhängig von den Kosten für die Umwelt, die Architektur oder den öffentlichen Raum, die wir ausleuchten. Sind wir als Community damit im Reinen? Oder ist es uns einfach nicht so wichtig?” Ruairí O’Brien

“The lighting design community in general and as far as climate protection is concerned, calls the fight for the good cause (light). But if the customer wants it and pays for it, we make beautiful light first and foremost, we illuminate – regardless of the cost to the environment, the architecture or the public space we illuminate. Are we as a community at peace with this? Or is it simply not that important to us?” Ruairí O’Brien


Donnerstag, 18.11.2021

Zeit: 08:15-09:30

Weitere Informationen finden Sie Unter:

October 2021

Under The Waterline


October 2021, on 10 different locations in Cairo

Selection & Program: RUAIRÍ O’BRIEN

Artists and filmmakers help us all understand the hidden codes of city life, and of existence itself. They are the icebergs – there is more to them than what we can see at first sight; they are our “eyes on the street.” The chosen venue for the program is also a supporting expression of the text above and of the videos chosen.

For for information see here:


Informations-Licht-Skulptur Slaughterhouse Five in der Presse

The current issue of the magazine “diesseits” ( of the Humanist Association Germany published an article about Kurt Vonnegut and his book “Slaughterhouse-Five” that is well worth reading. For the illustration of the article a photo of Ruairí O’Brien’s memorial wall and information light sculpture Slaughterhouse-Five in the Messe Dresden was chosen by the Radaktion. Link to the issue:


Lichtkunst im öffentlichen Raum

University of Berlin, on 18.05.2021


UNESCO International Day of Light

Zum internationalen “Tag des Lichts” 2021 präsentieren wir den folgenden Kurzfilm von Ruairí O’Brien. Der Film ist der erste aus einer Reihe von Kurzfilmen, an denen er über das “Licht von Kairo” arbeitet. Dieser erste Film der Serie konzentriertsich auf einen Tag und eine Nacht im Kairoer Stadtgebiet von Maadi am Nil. Der nächste Kurzfilm wird sich auf das Gebiet “Downtown” konzentrieren.

To celebrate the “Day of Light” 2021, Ruairí O’Brien has put a short film online.
The film is the first from a series of short films he is working on about the “Light of Cairo”. This first film in the series focuses on a Day and a Night in the Cairo city area of Maadi on the Nile.The next short film will focus on the area of “Downtown”.


Internationaler Tag des Lichts / International Day of Light 2021

We celebrate the Unesco International Day of Light with “Light of Cairo”, a “micro” film. 

Day and night impressions filmed celebrate the simplicity and grandeur of light in our everyday life. In 2001 I stated, people have a “right to darkness” and began recording light scenes during “Light Walks” in cities. 

The film will be presented in Vimeo and YouTube on the 16.05.2021 

Finde more about the IDL 2021 Event Programme worldwide under:


Less Light to See More

The image above shows a screenshot from the Arte cultural magazine “Twist” with the theme “Design Total!” from May 2, 2021 (excerpt from a light poetry performance by Ruairí O’Brien).

The program, to which we link below the text, traces, among other things, the fascination of lighting design and introduces (from about the 21st minute) two lighting designers for whom less is more: Ulrike Brandi (internationally renowned lighting designer, including the Elbphilharmonie) and Ruairí O’Brien. In the interview, O’Brien makes the case for a “lighting culture” and clarifies his lighting design approach of “Less Light to See More”.

We thank the Arte magazine for the beautiful contribution.

“Twist” vom 02.05.2021 können Sie hier ansehen: Design durch die Zeit | TWIST | ARTE – YouTube


Living and light spaces – challenge to a new kind of lighting design

Light 2021 Online Forum

Wednesday, 24.03.2021

Time: 15:45 – 17:05 Uhr

For more information, please visit: 


Now and Here – Restaurant, Bistro, Appartmens at the Post Square

5 years anniversary of our planning of the house at the Postplatz. On the occasion of this anniversary, we have reimagined our Postplatz project.  

Weitere Informationen finden Sie hier.


Potsdam Unterwegs im Licht 2021

Today actually Potsdam – Unterwegs im Licht 2021 would take place. Because it must be cancelled due to the current Corona situation, we enjoy once again the impressions of last year and hope for a new Unterwegs im Licht 2022.

For more information, please visit: