Responding to the global crises that plague the world today, and how the lighting design community can provide assistance, a group of French lighting designers led by Roger Narboni, Marc Dumas, and Francois Magos have formed Lighting Designers Without Borders. With 40 members at present, the association's goal is “to bring help to exposed populations, in emergency or post emergency situations.” Professionals in other fields have been engaged in humanitarian work for many years, most notably the healthcare profession and the organization Doctors Without Borders.

Light and lighting are one of the most basic and critical needs during times of disaster, natural or man-made. The association's press release explains, “The action of Lighting Designers without Borders is part of the changing face of humanitarian aid, a sector which now seeks to create a glimmer of hope and undertake actions with long-lasting effects rather than just providing operational assistance.”

When called upon, the association will assist in three areas:

  • During major emergency crises: Lighting designers will work with energy experts to determine the lighting needs for emergency services and ambient lighting for general populations;
  • Post-emergency situations: To provide intelligently and sensitively designed lighting for individuals and communities that have experienced traumatic events; and
  • Regional development: To develop consistency between projects, including sustainable lighting features, no matter the economic scenario.
  • To that end the association plans to “initiate lighting projects at the request of local people, based on their local customs and expertise; to submit lighting solutions that respond to the functional requirements and enhancement of public areas; to design systems that are environmentally friendly and cost effective in terms of energy use; to teach and design the use of lighting systems in places where this trade does not exists; and to create a network of knowledge and contacts to generate financial aid and sponsorship.” For more information visit: