Bokeh City Lights, photo after pixabay.com
Science, poetry, painting and other forms of art have always been inspired by that mysterious darkness with the countless stars that night brings in its folds. In a certain way, that is quite expected considering our inquisitive human nature, but it seems that night has so much to offer more than just satisfaction to the curious minds. In a similar understanding to the poets who have always been intrigued by it; night intensifies our sense of time, intimacy and reflection.
Humans have an inherent need to dwell in both space and time just as they are hardwired to belong and seek intimacy.
Night Blooming Jasmine Plant, photo after wikimedia.org
And the night experience provides the medium, the thought-provoking ambience, and the pace to surrender enjoy fulfilling those implied needs, which translates into inspired feelings, ideas, and contemplation. Not only its unreachable bright stars that seem to be exclusively captured in its mystic darkness, some plants like the night-blooming jasmine or the “night musk” as known in the Arab world also fill the air with a unique, light and soothing scent that makes memories of the place and events that it witnessed with you unforgettable. Lighting is also another element that comes in handy when setting up a nighttime ambience that brings out some of the details, textures, and colours that are missed on a busy day; a vivid embodiment of the motto “less is more“.
To condone the place/city experience at night is a grave sin that our existence simply refuses to forgive. Denying the human mind, body and soul the opportunity to get lost in the details of the night and its eternal horizon, and to experience its uniqueness, is just another consequence of lopsided designs that focus only on how they look instead of how they will be experienced. Such an approach is detrimental to the quality of life, human well-being and attitude. On the other hand, appreciating the power of a multisensory approach to architecture encourages a rethinking of how, what and when space is experienced so as to communicate the celebration of our existence.