I've just come across an intriguing press release. The BDP Lighting Group turned up in the middle of Manchester last week with 60 people and a load of LEDs, and proceeded to transform the centre of the city with transient lighting designs.
Apparently, Manchester is way behind the game in lighting up its architecture - which is odd if you consider the wealth of lighting talent that must have been nurtured in Madchester nightclubs... Other cities are way in front.
For instance Chartres has 'Chartres en lumieres' which lights up not just the cathedral, but other medieval churches and streets within the city. Chartres' heritage of fine medieval stained glass inspires much of the design, and there's even a recreation in light of the famous Chartres labyrinth in the cathedral pavement. Sées, in Normandy, lights up its gothic cathedral every July and August. And Amiens cathedral lights up at Christmas, with a 45 minute show hoping to show the cathedral facade as it would have been in its pristine medieval glory - painted and gilded, only this time just with light.
Well, I suppose the French did invent the term 'son et lumière'.