Shadowing image

Farrows Creative

Streetlights with Memories

Winner of Watershed’s Playable City Award 2014, Shadowing by UK design duo Chomko & Rosier, had its international premiere at the Media Ambition Tokyo festival in February 2016. Three Shadowing streetlights were installed in Toranomon Hills, in a district of Tokyo undergoing major redevelopment as a cutting-edge technology and innovation business centre. For the duration of the festival, the lights came to life and transformed the streets into a place of unexpected interaction, delighting people on their journeys home.

Shadowing streetlights capture the movements of pedestrians passing beneath and echo them back as shadows to the next passerby, inviting interaction between people who share a space. This could be as simple as walking together or more complex gestures could occur - a wave hello, a hop, or a dance. Shadowing offers an exploration of the disconnectedness that technology can create between strangers, the role of light in creating a city's character, and the unseen data layers and surveillance culture that pervades our contemporary urban spaces.

Shadowing was first installed in the streets of Bristol over six weeks in the autumn of 2014. The lights drew in residents and visitors into some of the unexpected and lesser-travelled streets and pathways of Bristol, and some residents commented that the reanimation of the streets made them feel safer. Shadowing took part in the 'Illuminating York 2015' festival, and has been exhibited at the London Design Museum with a nomination from Sebastian Conran as one of the 'Designs of the Year 2015’.

Young boy playing with shadows

British Council, Photo by Kenichi Aikawa

Shadows of people who passed before cast on path

British Council, Photo by Kenichi Aikawa


Chomko & Rosier look at creating new ways of engaging with technology. Founded in 2015 by British designer Matthew Rosier and Canadian designer Jonathan Chomko, they use physical and digital design to create compelling urban experiences.


Dates: 26 February to 21 March 2016
Place: Toranomon Hills, Tokyo
Organiser: British Council
Special Cooperation: Rhizomatiks, Watershed, Toranomon Hills
Supported by: ADK

External links