William Gagnon/CA & Isabel Villar/SE

Aurora Borealis: Turning Yellowknife (Northwest Territories, Canada) into a Dark Sky City to promote aurora tourism and environmental awareness

Presentation date: 25. October
Presentation time: 15:45

The audience will be taken on a short trip to Yellowknife, Northwest Territories where aurora borealis makes Yellowknifers proud. The focus will not be on lighting but on Dark Sky Cities, where smart lighting plays a key role in making residents feel safe while also showcasing the sky.

The two speakers are a fine example of successful international collaboration, in the front row when it comes to climate change.

William Gagnon/CA, Ecology North

William Gagnon holds a Building Engineering degree and has also pursued graduate studies in Sustainable Carbon Management. He studied Bioclimatic Architecture in Mexico and Wind Energy in Ireland.

William was the leader of the Concordia University Young Greens, then joined the Council of the Young Greens of Canada, and is now the Quebec representative on the Federal Council of the Green Party of Canada.

He currently leads the project for the Northern Centre for Sustainability in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, a living lab and innovation hub built upon the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. William and his team are also leading Yellowknife’s Smart Cities Challenge, a project that will give back to Yellowknifers their starry sky visibility, allowing for downtown aurora borealis viewing, to inspire climate action and community resilience.

Isabel Villar/RC/SE, Villar White Arkitekter

Chilean born, Isabel holds a Master’s degree in Architectural Lighting Design from the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm/SE. In 2008, she joined award-winning professional lighting design firm Ljusarkitektur, where she worked as a project manager and was also partially responsible for the creation of the daylight unit inside the company from 2009 onwards.
In 2017, Isabel joined White Arkitekter as a Lighting Designer with the vision of working both with daylight and electric lighting from the early stages of the architectural design process. With over ten years of experience, Isabel has designed the lighting for a wide range of national and international projects, including public buildings, offices, retail, hotels, museums, private residences and master plans. In 2014, Isabel won the Swedish Lighting Design Prize for Kungliga Biblioteket Annexet (The National Library), a project where the planning of daylight and electric light were key to its success and a breakthrough in the profession of lighting design in Sweden.

Isabel is a passionate lighting designer who is strongly committed to the development of the profession. She is a guest lecturer at the ALD Master Education program at KTH, and has also lectured at Lightfair in Las Vegas, PLDC in Rome, and the Light Symposium in Stockholm. She is a Professional member of IALD, an IES Associate member, and a member of Tanteidan – Lighting Detectives. In 2018, Isabel received a 40under40 Lighting Designers Award.