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Roger Narboni is a visual artist and has a degree in electronic engineering. After several trips and sojourns abroad, including 3 years in New York, he settled near Paris in 1981 to devote himself to research and creative work on light and space. He has created several installations and monumental pieces on this theme and developed sensory projects including the famous exposition “La lumière dans tous ses états” at the Centre d’Art Contemporain in Orléans.
Following these experiences he became the first lighting designer in France and coined the French term concepteur lumière and then devoted himself exclusively to urban and architectural lighting. In 1988 he founded Concepto, a studio specialized in urban, monumental and environmental lighting, to create atmosphere-with-light and light-with-atmosphere. In 1991, upon request from the Paris La Défense urban planning department he conceived the exhibition and international conference “La lumière et la Ville”, a true manifesto for reinventing city nights. He pursued this by writing an essay and reference text La lumière urbaine. Since then he has organized several international conferences.
Roger Narboni has been a member of the Association française de l’Eclairage since 1992 and was one of the founders of the Association française des Concepteurs lumière et Eclairagistes.
With the Concepto team he has designed over 90 regional planning and development projects for lighting in France and abroad, and has created a significant number of permanent lighting systems for landscapes, urban areas and architecture, some of which have earned him awards and become international references (the banks of the Sèvre at Niort, the Cours des Cinquante Otages in Nantes, the Metamorphoses of the Château de Chambord, Notre Dame de Paris and the Rion Antirion bridge in Greece).
The lighting projects are systematically approached and researched in a global manner. That is to say, the buildings and public spaces are combined into a total concept and then transformed into true, urban nighttime landscapes. The agency’s creative approach to each new project that includes poetics, on a monumental scale is recognized for its innovative, sensitivity to the environment and nighttime settings.
Narboni teaches at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de la Nature et du Paysage in Blois and at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure du Paysage at Versailles. Since 1999 he has been doing original research on the night landscape and the ecology of lighting which materialized in a new treatise La Lumière et le paysage published in 2004 (translated in Portuguese, English and Italian).
In 2002, along with Laurent Fachard, he became artistic co-director of the Fête des Lumières in Lyon and in 2003 the head of the exploratory program committee. Since 2003 he has been serving as international expert with the LUCI association, the world network of cities of light.