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University of Portsmouth

Jeremiah Alex Abraham, Gurucharan Ganesh, Bennet Isac, Adithya Prasanna Kumar, Sherjin Raju


Our proposal, ‘Pranaah’, is inspired by the Sanskrit word for ‘breath’, as well as our experience as students living in a city centre that’s lacking in nightlife. Designed to infuse the heart of the city with the ethereal beauty of nature, our scheme harnesses bioluminescence to reimagine an inactive urban street as an enchanting ecosystem, illuminating it with natural elements of the sea.

We’ve proposed integrating bioluminescent algae known as Dinoflagellates, a type of phytoplankton, into the street to help transform it into a thriving nighttime destination. The idea is to blend natural and artificial architectural elements to create a sculptural module that can light up this urban space, animating it with a mesmerising spectacle. We’ve chosen a species whose bioluminescent glow has been scientifically proven to enhance wellbeing and reduce stress. This is key to creating a safe, serene, revitalised atmosphere that’s welcoming to all.

Our bioluminescent makeover will help the street become an active communal site by providing much-needed lighting that promotes nighttime business. We imagine the modules as a catalyst for markets, performances and more, none of which currently take place due to the street’s lack of infrastructure and lighting. The initiative goes beyond aesthetics, bridging our fast-paced urban lives with the ambiance and wonder of nature. The bioluminescent nightscape won’t just illuminate the street; it will improve safety and wellbeing, nurture the local economy, and help bring people together.