Part of an on-going series of public programs presented by the Museum of Arts & Design in New York City that reflect on the connections between architecture and issues of sustainability, history, culture, and politics, on April 3, 2008, architectural historian Dietrich Neumann spoke about the nighttime urban landscape in a lecture titled "Architecture & Illumination."

The talk included a condensed history of architectural illumination by electric lighting and discussed a developing interest in the nocturnal appearance of buildings since the beginning of the twentieth century. Using a range of historic and contemporary examples, including the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Chicago Tribune building, Neumann demonstrated how the integration of light and architecture has become a powerful and sophisticated form of advertising at night.

Neumann is professor of the history of modern architecture at Brown University and the Vincent Scully Visiting Professor at the Yale University School of Architecture. In 2007 he acted as curator for an acclaimed international exhibition Architecture of the Night–Luminous Buildings (See "Architecture of the Night," Architectural Lighting, March 2007, p. 18), which was on view at the Kunstmuseum in Stuttgart, Germany and the Netherlands Architecture Institute in Rotterdam. The exhibit expanded on material from his book of the same title published in 2002.