1001 Inventions and the World of Ibn Al-Haytham

Credits: 1001 Inventions
Credits: 1001 Inventions

‘1001 Inventions and the World of Ibn Al-Haytham’ is a new global campaign produced by 1001 Inventions and the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture in partnership with UNESCO and the International Year of Light 2015.

Born around a thousand years ago in what is present day Iraq, Al- Hasan Ibn Al-Haytham (known in the West by the Latinised form of his first name, first as “Alhacen” and later as “Alhazen”) was a pioneering scientific thinker who made important contributions to the understanding of vision, optics and light. His methodology of investigation, in particular using experiment to verify theory, shows certain similarities to what later on became to be known as the modern scientific method. Through his Book of Optics (Kitab al-Manazir) and its Latin translation (De Aspectibus), his ideas influenced European scholars including those of the European Renaissance. Today, many consider him as a pivotal figure in the history of optics and the “father of modern optics”.

‘1001 Inventions and the World of Ibn Al-Haytham’’ will be launched at UNESCO’s Hall Ségur with a showcase displaying parts of the global Ibn Al-Haytham campaign. The year-long initiative, involves a series of international events and engaging science experiences including interactive exhibits, live shows, workshops, digital content, teaching resources and a short feature film staring legendary actor Omar Sharif. The campaign will then roll out in countries around the world through engaging with museums, science festivals, educational institutions, digital and social media platforms.

The showcase in Hall Ségur includes highlights from the golden age of science in Muslim Civilisation and a display about Ibn Al- Haytham featuring a giant fully functioning camera obscura built in his honour.

‘1001 Inventions and the World of Ibn Al-Haytham’ inter-links IYL 2015 themes and initiatives on science, arts, culture and technology aiming to incite inquisitiveness and curiosity and to encourage young people to study Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Medicine (STEMM). In addition to UNESCO, a growing number of partners are already engaging including FSTC (UK), the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (KSA) and the Library of Alexandria (Egypt).


1001 Inventions is an award-winning UK based organisation that creates global educational campaigns and transmedia productions that have successfully engaged with over 120 million people around the world.


Permanent Delegation of Ghana to UNESCO and Ghana National Commission for UNESCO

Inspired by ‘Owia kokroko’ – the mighty sun that embodies Ghana’s concept of light as the source of all life, Ghana’s exhibition showcases the Ghanaian/African cultural and natural heritage associated with and related to the phenomena of light, as well as achievements and advances made in light related sciences and light-based technologies by Ghanaian / Africans and significant research, innovations and futuristic developments in light science taking place in Ghana.


SPIE, Chandra X-ray Center/ Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Editor: Kimberly Arcand/Chandra.

LIGHT: Beyond the Bulb is an open-source international exhibition program that showcases the incredible variety of light- based science being researched today across the electromagnetic spectrum, across scientific disciplines, and across technological platforms. Together with SPIE, the Chandra X-ray Center/Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory are leading Light: Beyond the Bulb for the International Year of Light 2015. Light: Beyond the Bulb is also a cornerstone project for the International Astronomical Unionduring2015. Aselectionoftheseimages will be displayed outside Room 1 during the Opening Ceremony.


Artist: Kari Kola Execution: Valoparta

Light is Here deals with light in multiple ways, in a stylistically abstract form. The 360-degrees installation lights up the exterior of the UNESCO Fontenoy building, recreating some of the most fascinating light natural phenomena of the planet: the Northern lights and the sunrise. The building is bathed in blue and green, contrasting with the warm colours of the down.


The Light Painting World Alliance (LPWA)

Light painting is the artistic genre of long exposure photography. Artists work in darkness and use artificial light sources to create unique forms and shapes and illumination of the photographic composition; often achieving a surreal and ephemeral effects. A common reaction by the general public is that the images have been “Photoshopped,” but all works shown in the LPWA exhibits come straight from the camera without post-processing of any kind. The LPWA exhibit is possible thanks to support from Roulot, Drouot et Associés.

The exhibition features in particular the work by the Winners of the Light Painted World International Year of Light Competition: Erasmo Daaz & Ricardo Tenti, Spain and Italy (Light is Peace); Diliz, France (Light is Motion); Julie Larocque & Martin Shank, Canada (Light is Dream); HoryMa, Russia (Light is Life); Joerg Miedza, Germany (Light is Joy); Janne Parviainen, Finland (Light is All).

The Light Painting World Alliance (LPWA)

Founded in 2011 by Sergey Churkin, the LPWA is an international association of light painting photographers dedicated to the promotion and education of the public to the wonders of light painting as an art form. For our artist members, light is what connects us to collaborate and portray our unique vision of the world in which we live. We also believe that light, when artistically applied to our works, can convey a message of harmony with our environment and a sense of wonder and global connection to humanity.


Artists: Wesley Shrum and Gregory Scott Original Soundtrack: Brett Dietz

Since the beginning of modern cinema, viewers and critics alike have been transfixed by light contrasted with darkness. This interplay of light and dark was typical of film noir, a metaphor of good and evil in plots that featured crime, detectives, and mystery. We celebrate this genre through a salute to Augustin-Jean Fresnel, the inventor of a lens for lighthouses that was later used for movie and theatre lighting. Light Years features serial murder and a star-studded group of suspects over a half-century of film. Whodunnit? Ultimately, we learn that the Fatal Fresnel Lens has incinerated five cameras that recorded their own demise.


Artist: Light at Play

The Radiance Orb is part of an ongoing series of interactive light installations exploring the intersection of cutting-edge lighting technology and 3D geometry. For this project, Light at Play scaled down a geodesic dome concept they have been developing over the years and made a complete sphere - while also significantly increasing the LED resolution and responsiveness to ambient sound.

Light at Play

Light at Play was founded by Yona Appletree, who integrates a technical approach to design with artistic expression in his favorite medium, software, and Wayne Skipper, whose background spans the technology gamut, from hardware design to software architecture, is passionate about Art and Science - and enjoys building bridges between them. While Yona co-founded Light at Play in order to realize his vision of the Radiance Dome. Yona’s passion is in the symbiosis of art and technology, Wayne wanted to to explore the nexus of cutting-edge lighting technology and data visualization in 3D spaces.


Hochschule Offenburg, University of Applied Sciences

During the Opening Ceremony, an interactive world map projection will be able to be seen on the wall space outside Room 1, showing the online community celebrating the Launch of the Year! The projection is based on posts from Twitter, Facebook web page and the Hochschule Offenburg webpage. You can participate in the Map too - all it takes is that you write #IYL2015 in all your International Year of Light related comments on Twitter!

Hochschule Offenburg, University of Applied Sciences
The University of Applied Sciences Offenburg is a German university owned by the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg. It is one of the most important educational institutions in the southern Upper Rhine area with over 4,000 students. The Light Projection! display is coordinated by Professor Dan Curticapean with his students.