Going Dark: Reimagining artificial lighting in public for a return to natural rhythms

An immersive audiovisual environment that enables visitors to experience the impact and prevalence of light pollution in the Helsinki capital region.
sea line landscape showcasing light pollution from a building

Exploring futures of the night sky

Going Dark is an interactive installation that enables participants to experience the potential futures of locations in Helsinki. The interactive scenes depict what may happen if light pollution and human developments continue or are effectively managed. Slowly shifting real and surreal landscapes will guide participants to reflect on the invisible forces of light pollution. It will also lend itself to the importance of civic engagement on a local community level.

Visualization Hub

Going Dark will be on display in the Visualization Hub - a 360-degree projection environment at Aalto Studios, in Otakaari 7, Monday–Friday 10:00–16:00.

satellite image of light pollution in Europe
Europe at Night, NASA, 2016.

Europe's light pollution

Europe, renowned for its culture, hides a troubling reality as the most light-polluted continent. This artificial glow, affecting 99% of Europeans, disrupts both nature and health, yet the EU overlooks light pollution while regulating energy efficiency, carbon emission and other aspects of the economic transitioning to a green economy.

In Helsinki, light pollution dims the city's charm in winter and summer. The bustling core city center and regional hubs like Itäkeskus, Pasila, Leppävaara, Tapiola, Vantaa and Matinkylä face the most intense light pollution. Notably, the major ports add to the luminous haze.

Though Helsinki has initiated guidelines, they now need revitalizing and expansion to the capital region. Enforcement is a struggle, stakeholders lack resources. Initiatives like Going Dark offer a different vision, sparking dialogue and fostering a community-led effort to reclaim the starry night.

Learn about the growing effects of light pollution on migratory birds

a map of light pollution in Helsinki region
The most light-polluted areas in the capital region are the core city center and regional centers, e.g. Itäkeskus, Pasila, Leppävaara, Tapiola, Vantaa and Matinkylä. Simultaneously, the largest ports produce the most light in their surroundings.


Monika Hauck

Instagram: @monautomaton

Mathias Schach

Helsinki at night

Helsinki conducts study to find ways of reducing light pollution (external link)

Inappropriate and excessive use of artificial light harms the environment and wastes energy

Wood crystals on a black fabric.

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