A rendering of the Caño Martín Peña project.
PhoScope A rendering of the Caño Martín Peña project.

The Illuminating Engineering Society New York City Section (IESNYC) has announced its award of a $10,000 grant in support of PhoScope’s “Recreo de Noche (RDN).” The project, which is the concept of PhoScope’s founder and lighting designer Nathalie Rozot, aims to illuminate playgrounds in Puerto Rico for communities that are still without power since Hurricane Marie devastated the island last September. The IESNYC joins the Designers Lighting Forum of New York (DLFNY), which has already pledged a grant of $10,000 in support of this work.

The goal of the RDN program at outlined by PhoScope is “…to provide multiple Puerto Rican communities with lit playgrounds for use after sunset, in an effort to address the immediate recreational and social needs of residents who are deprived of electrical power and until longer-term utility and infrastructure projects are developed and implemented.” The first pilot installation for the initiative, RDN1, commenced this month and is to be completed by the end of November 2018.

A joint effort between PhoScope, Lighting In Action (LIA)–a team of students documenting lighting needs post Hurricane Maria, and Concepteurs Lumière Sans Frontières–a French nonprofit whose mission is to share expertise with communities who do not have access to lighting design services, the team has selected the Caño Martín Peña in San Juan as the site. LIA will be working with the Corporation del Proyecto del Caño Martín Peña (ENLACE), and local stakeholders and users to determine the specific illumination needs for each playground ,and help facilitate with the lighting design and equipment installation incorporating solar lighting. Conceived of as an easily replicable model, each RDN project will require five solar streetlights, 10 solar kits, and 50 portable lights, and the equipment will become the property of the local community and constituents.

“The IESNYC has decided to fund this project because we feel there is a need to support projects that create a greater good through the use of light for people and their surroundings, said Phil Cialdella, president specification sales, Light Abilities and member of the IESNYC Board of Managers. “The Board felt this effort, in a focused way, enhanced the lives of the people locally with light and would be delivered in a caring way.”

This past June, PhoScope’s Martissant project in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, received a “Citation for a Humanitarian Action for Solar Lighting,” as part of the IESNYC’s 2018 Lumen Awards. PhoScope’s founder and lighting designer Nathalie Rozot was also recognized this past July as an IESNYC Section Member of the Month. “I am so grateful to the IESNYC and the DLFNY for sponsoring this important project,” said Rozot. “Their generous support shows that our lighting community is rising to the occasion and that we are all ready to bring light to Puerto Rico.”

For further details and those wishing to provide support of the RDN initiative, please visit the project page on the PhoScope website.