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Passyunk & 8th


With the Support of the Velocity Fund and in collaboration with Vamos Juntos and Fleisher Art Memorial, Alumbra worked with the vulnerable youth in South Philly to transform an empty lot into a one night-time destination with a temporal light art installation designed and fabricated by them, creating cultural and social identity, public engagement and space appropriation.


Alumbra collaborated with the youth community & local organizations to imagine the public spaces they need for a healthier & happier community life, with a strong component on cultural identity & social cohesion.   

Successful public spaces play an essential role in a community’s dynamics when they create a sense of place, connect a variety of people, & help build inclusive neighborhoods. Recent studies on public spaces during COVID show that open spaces are more popular, the search for outdoor human needs is more valuable now & these spaces are being used “like never before”.


Communities need pleasant open areas where they can feel safe & comfortable, while keeping social distance.


The site was chosen by the youth, a local lot that has been empty for years, just a few blocks from the Vamos Juntos office.  



During virtual and in-person workshops we used light as a tool for expression and transformation.  


Young people approached light from a different perspective: it is not only functional, but it can transforms spaces, create environment, conveys messages and express emotions. An engaging introduction to light and the role it plays in our lives.


During the workshop we used a placemaking approach to reimagine the space and reclame it as a night-time destination where a diversity of interests and ideas came together. 

Through observation and diagnosis, the youth identified needs and opportunities for the space, designing the intervention collectively. 

To create the light installation a final fabrication workshop was done outdoors with participants and extended members of the local community. 

A collaborative process to strengthen soft & hard skills through a visual light art project.  


The young participants built light boxes/ modules with translucent materials and colorful light bulbs. 


Participants decorated their boxes individually or in pairs, following the themes they choose as a group:  

nature and community