by Joachim Ritter
Competition for lighting design and light art … without any lighting experts on the jury!
The City of London is rated as one of the world’s largest cities. Along with Paris, New York City and Tokyo, the British capital ranks as a trendsetter.
And this also applies to lighting design. Many designers are based in these huge cities, and work from there. Wouldn’t you think that means that there should be a sufficient number of professional people in London, for example, who have know-how and expertise when it comes to judging the quality of light and lighting?
The City of London recently launched a design competition to illuminate 17 bridges along the Thames from Albert Bridge to Tower Bridge. The competition finalists will be asked to conceive a design masterplan for the project, while providing a concept design for four specific bridges Westminster, Waterloo, London and Chelsea. The winning concepts resulting from the international design competition are to be realised by 2018. So far, so good.
What is rather strange about the whole set-up is that not one of the seven jury members can claim to be a lighting expert. That doesn’t mean to say that Lord Rothschild, Architect Malcolm Reading, Prof. Ricky Burdett representing Urban Studies, or Justine Simons, Head of Culture at City Hall in London, do not or should not have an opinion about light and lighting. But not to have any expertise at all when it comes to judging the quality, contemporary nature or feasibility of any of the design proposals submitted smacks of gross negligence to me. The design criteria stipulate that the design needs to display outstanding aesthetic quality, show innovation and incorporate energy-saving technologies, and feature interactivity. Who in the jury is able to address such issues when evaluating submissions?
This again shows that “people” are certainly aware of lighting design in architecture, but not aware of who lighting designers are and what their skills are. Neither associations nor education programmes have managed to establish themselves as an essential part of design competitions of this kind. Apart from the fact that in this Call for Proposals the boundary between lighting design and light art seems to be more blurry than it is helpful. The competition claims to be looking for a public art installation, while the strategic priorities contained in the brief give the impression that it is a lighting design they are looking for. To be honest, it is hard to decipher exactly what the expectations are.
All that remains is for the professional lighting designers (or light artists, who knows?) to use the competition to set themselves apart from other disciplines and to call attention to the difference they make.
For information on the competition click here.
The new Harvey Nichols concept store at The Mailbox, Birmingham, is at the heart of the iconic Mailbox building and has been purposely created to offer 45,000 square feet of luxurious retail space. By totally transforming the retail environment using cutting edge technology and purposefully designed ambient lighting, the store now offers a more sophisticated shopping experience.
This state-of-the-art retail facility has become the blueprint for future Harvey Nichols stores. The lighting was designed by PJC Light Studio Limited, London, who homed in on two of the most prestigious of our fittings to be used in a wide range of areas across the store, including womenswear, menswear, perfumery, lingerie and shoe departments. Over 800 large YORI luminaires incorporating 30W LEDs were selected in black, mounted onto existing tracks and placed within black channels to blend seamlessly with the dark ceiling design. Equipped with a narrow-beam reflector and a cross-blade louvre to eliminate glare, the YORI luminaire offers precise illumination that is ideal for accentuating merchandise areas and can easily be adjusted for more defined lighting control.
Fabio Cristini, lighting designer at PJC commented: “With challenging ceiling heights of 4.2 metres in particular areas of the store, it was imperative to ensure we had a good delivery of lumen output and a wide range of beam angles to allow us to create the right ambience for these areas. Reggiani’s YORI fitting is also aesthetically pleasing – another important consideration. The performance of the YORI is very good and the use of the cross-blade louvre accessory was invaluable for this high-end retail project”.
PJC specified the large YORI luminaire in white for the lingerie and swimwear department with the fittings, once again, mounted on existing tracks but within white ceiling slots against a white ceiling to create a very different style for this part of the store.
The extended and luxurious changing-room space for the new store utilises round Trybeca recessed luminaires equipped with 8W LEDs. The Trybeca fitting complements the opulent design of the very spacious changing area and harmonises well with the existing, relaxing surroundings, whilst providing excellent quality light – an absolute imperative for superior changing-room for discerning shoppers.
Project name: Harvey Nichols, Birmingham
Location: Birmingham, UK
Lighting design concept: PJC Light Studio Limited – Fabio Cristini
Lighting specification and design: PJC Light Studio Limited
Electrical contractor: Sparkhill Electrical Ltd
A large-scale exhibition project developed to recount the fascination that the archaeological site of Pompeii held for artists and the European imagination, from the start of excavations in 1748 to its dramatic bombing in 1943. This is “Pompeii and Europe. 1748 – 1943”, an exhibition open to the public from 27 May to 2 November 2015 at the National Museum of Archaeology in Naples and simultaneously at the Amphitheatre in Pompeii, with the patronage of Expo Milano 2015.
Sponsored by the Soprintendenza Speciale per Pompei, Ercolano e Stabia and by the Management of the Grande Progetto Pompei, in collaboration with the National Museum of Archaeology in Naples, the exhibition – organised by Electa with installation by Francesco Venezia – is structured as a true journey, grand and complex, in which Antiquity enters into a dialogue with Modernity, and nature with the arts and archaeology.
The exhibition is divided into four chronological sections containing works of various types: paintings, drawings, collections of prints, architectural plans, photographs, sculptures, objects, books and more.
The variety of items on display and the artists involved show how Pompeii, with its buried ruins and its classicism, has fascinated artists from all over Europe for nearly two hundred years, from Ingres to Picasso, Normand to Le Corbusier, Moreau to De Chirico.
The dual exhibition venue features two separate lighting concepts, different but at the same time complementary.
The design for the Naples site centres upon the concept of “working on memory”, using light to showcase objects thematically linked to each other but made centuries apart.
In order to bring together this highly heterogeneous display, the illumination of each piece must be similar but perceivably different, using the “vibrated light” technique. Vibrated light involves alternating different light beams using two 3000K light sources with different spectrums, dimmed individually.
The vibration is appreciable if there are other illuminated surfaces within the space, stable by contrast, which act as a comparative element, bringing out the vibrated light system.
For this project, 10 Watt track-mounted Yori LED projectors were chosen, featuring a special cone louvre with 3 beam widths: 12°, 15° and 20°.
The precise adjustability of the projectors allows for optimum positioning which minimises any bouncing of the luminance caused by the multiple glass elements present.
The Pompeii installation features a different concept: whilst in Naples the visitor experience does not take in the totality of the setting at first glance, in Pompeii the light immediately draws the eye to the spectacular architecture of the space as a whole.
The main problem with the round geometry of the setting was controlling the luminous flux output. To remedy this, special brackets were created to allow the Linea Luce Slim LED linear System used to be directly mounted on the arch of the dome.
The consistency between the two lighting designs ultimately lies in the role of the natural light, which is integrated, in both cases, with solutions selected to reduce energy consumption.
This year, the VIA team has once again come up with a selected list of books for recommended reading. They will be available at PLDC in Rome for you to take a look at. Some of these books will be available for purchase for the first time at PLDC.
“See the Light” by Svante Pettersson, the experienced Swedish lighting expert, has gained substantial popularity over the last few months. The generously illustrated book depicts, from a Scandinavian viewpoint, how light works and how to differentiate between lighting solutions. “See the Light” is especially valuable for all those who like to see the work that they and other like-minded individuals perform daily confirmed in book form. “See the Light” is a standard work, a highly inspirational book about light, the philosophy of light and the art of getting to know your visual sense, which in the end boils down to common sense. A detailed critique can be found here.
The complement to Svante Pettersson’s book is the latest work by Christopher Cuttle. From its title: “Lighting design: a perception-based approach”, it appears to be a book about a specific design approach. Correct, although all the perception-related information is scientifically proven in numbers before the design concept is realised. Christopher Cuttle always manages to unlock yet another part of the true world of lighting design. A detailed critique can be found here.
Aleksandra Stratimirovic is active in the overlap between lighting design and light art. Together with Sandra Praun, she has published a book that makes this overlap the core of the work, even rendering it visible in the way the book itself is designed and presented. “You say Light – I think Shadow” is a collection of comments and statements from leading architects, designers, artists and other key figures who have recognised light as being a central part of their lives and wish to share this with others. At the same time, the work itself is a huge compliment to ‘the printed book’ as a medium, and is informative and inspiring throughout. A detailed critique can be found here.
A new book, which will be presented at PLDC for the first time, incorporates discussion and a collection of experimental studies on the topic of daylight. Giovanni Traverso has put together a practical manual based on his own perception of the topic plus a series of studies carried out by students which take a close look at a creative approach to designing with daylight. “Modelling Daylight” is designed to promote discussion on the purposeful use of daylight. It is an impressive documentation of the creative power daylight can have in architecture – an inspiration and practical manual in one. The principles of daylight design are presented clearly and in a well-structured way, and examples shown that enable a practical approach to follow on from the theoretical fundamentals. A detailed critique can be found here.
All books amoung others can also be purchaised through the VIA shop here.
by Joachim Ritter
It is often the characters circulating in a particular industry that give it its inimitable “flavour”, special characters who tend not to mince their words, who everyone knows, and who often leave the community split into two: those who are declared fans, and those who do not share that level of enthusiasm.
Rogier van der Heide is one such character, the lighthouse among all lighting experts. Formerly a lighting designer of the category IALD Full Voting Member, he is still a lighting designer, but one who is firmly positioned on the other side of the fence and is now regarded differently, or sometimes ignored, by his former independent colleagues. That does not mean that he has not maintained the skills to design lighting or that he has lost any of his design qualities. But the purists in the lighting design world tend to presume the latter is the case. Rogier has opted to view lighting design from another perspective. To be honest, at least he has the advantage of being able to spot developments and potential before many independent designers can do so. And yet many lighting designers cannot, or do not want to, accept this.
At times, Rogier van der Heide can be a bit of a Fidgety Philip. He is regularly invited to give a talk at events around the world. Standing on the stage, doing his best to impart his know-how, he simply cannot stand still and needs two to three square metres, sometimes gesticulating wildly, to express his opinions and communicate his statements. His long blond hair falls forward, half covering his face, and everyone can see how pointless it is to continually attempt to push it back or to one side. For a split second you can see his face and his eyes, which usually look pretty tired given that he spends a lot of his time jetting from conference to conference to represent his current employer through his unique charisma. As a rule, Rogier has to bend over to have a meaningful conversation with an individual. And everyone is waiting for the moment when he engages in a dialogue with Kaoru Mende.
His texts can be clever and witty, and laced with his special sense of humour. Even the way he embarks on a presentation at a conference is unique. Whereas all other speakers graciously thank the organisers for the invitation and opportunity to give a talk, Rogier van der Heide thanks the audience for attending his lecture. Sounds plausible in the first instance, but completely ignores the fact that attendees may also value other speakers and are sitting in the audience because they will also be presenting. Looking back on his professional career, he sometimes associates it with a bike ride from Amsterdam to Dornbirn. Who else, apart from Rogier, would come up with such an analogy? But you can’t really hold anything against Rogier, not anymore.
Roger van der Heide is able to put together presentations and communicate messages that remain in your head forever! Not always, but sometimes – and at any rate no less frequently than any other lighting designer who can go on for hours about his/her career as an independent lighting designer.
Rogier has stopped growing in height, but not when it comes to content. Which is why he continues to find fans and followers around the world who are inspired by his observations and knowledge and his dry sense of humour – or sometimes not.
An industry thrives on the community that forms it – special characters, like Rogier van der Heide.
In the past years we have been honoured to welcome some of the greatest partners in the industry to PLDC. The exhibition staged for their benefit was certainly not of the standard format. The special quality of PLDC is that the conversations and discussions that take place there lead to new ideas, new developments and solutions. The exhibition hall at PLDC is a vibrant hub for such activities, and in that sense points the way to the future.
One company that has developed extremely well in recent years is LED Linear. LED Linear have been a Partner of PLDC since 2011. They have won a number of design awards in the meantime, but have also opted to assume more responsibility to support the interests of designers. This year LED Linear embarked on a new project in support of the lighting market of the future…
On 9. July, 2015 LED Linear signed an agreement with the University of Wismar to establish and finance the first endowed professorship, thus building a bridge between business and science, and making an essential contribution to strengthening the Architectural Lighting Design degree programme at the University of Wismar. The professorship is limited to five years and LED Linear will be providing a six-figure amount to partly fund the costs for the professorship.
CEO Dr. Michael Kramer: “For us it is especially important to make a significant contribution to the advancement of research in the field ‘Lighting Design’. The targeted support and training of highly qualified young people is extremely important to us”.
The responsibilities linked to the professorship comprise the usual list of tasks and include teaching, academic administration, the supervision of theses and the processing of further assignments in the context of studies. One prime focus will be the exploration of new fields of application of light in buildings incorporating linear lighting systems, both from an economic standpoint and with regard to the development of new approaches to product and application designs.
On signing of the agreement, LED Linear CEO Dr.-Ing. Michael Kramer, and the rector of the University of Wismar, Prof. Dr. jur. Bodo Wiegand-Hoffmeister gave to understand that the endowed professorship is a mutually beneficial step for both parties. The university will benefit from the additional teaching activities, and the market can look forward to an expansion of marketable LED applications.
Inspired by daylight – A book on experimental creative use of daylight
A critique by Joachim Ritter
The apparent reason for so little daylight being used as a design element in architecture is that a large number of designers lack the know-how and skills to handle it. Their creativity, you might say, does not go beyond the rectangular window opening. One way or the other, every room looks more or less the same: square. You feel you are trapped in a box, although there are enough windows to escape through… Thinking out of the box is (literally) becoming increasingly more difficult. And there is not much in the way of literature when it comes to how natural light can be used as a design element in an architectural space. New requirements related to energy savings and what planners tend to perceive as the ‘enforced use of daylight’ has put us in a situation where we can no longer make out what is light and what is architecture, because everything is simply overly bright.
Inspiration is called for. This is where the book “Modelling Daylight” by the Italian architect and lighting designer Giovanni Traverso comes in. As the initiator and head of the summer course entitled Daylight Thinking that took place in Vicenza/I in 2012, he and his students created a series of models to demonstrate that through daylight interior spaces can gain a quality that has nothing to do with rectangular openings set in the facade. Daylight can become the main feature in a space, if the designer is able to handle it creatively.
The manual aims to raise awareness and make readers sensitive to the idea that light can become a fundamental element in architectural design, capable of positively modifying the experience of the user.
The book motivates and encourages readers to return to the purposeful use of daylight. But it is also a manual containing helpful references and feasible approaches, and in that sense goes beyond the purely experimental. Time and again when reading the book, one is inclined to reconsider one’s own philosophy of natural light and place more importance on the use of daylight in architecture on an everyday basis. Which is as much as to say that this is not a book that will simply added to the bookshelf and disappear forever, but always be within reach as a source of reference. It is not a sequel to grand works such as William Lam’s “Sunlighting as Formgiver for Architecture”, but defines a new lighting design quality that is achievable through daylight.
With this book, Giovanni Traverso has succeeded in providing convincing material on the purposeful application of daylight. The information, data and reports on the studies are presented in a clear, well-structured manner. His ideas on daylight design and commitment to spreading the educational word come across confidently and are easy to follow. “Modelling Daylight” is sure to be more than just an inspiration to those who read it.
About the author
Giovanni Traverso is an architect and lighting designer, based in Vicenza/I. In 1996, together with Paola Vighy, he co-founded Traverso-Vighy Architetti studio, specialising in sustainable architecture and experimental projects related to the application of light. He is Senior Lecturer at ‘VIA”, UFL and has also taught in the MSc programme in Lighting Design at IUAV University in Venice. In July 2012, he headed the international summer course ‘Daylight Thinking’, UFL.
Date of release: 28.10.2015 at PLDC in Rome
Italian version: ISBN 978-3-9811940-4-3
English version: ISBN 978-3-9811940-5-0
German version: ISBN 978-3-9811940-6-7
Price: € 24.90
…or what has a safer world to do with lighting?
PLDC is proud that every aspect of the lighting design market will be discussed at PLDC in the interest of the future for lighting. Many manufacturers are currently introducing their latest developments and services. At PLDC they will be discuss and developing new ideas and creating new trends together with lighting designers.
But safety is also an important element of the future. Developments must be of high technical quality. This is where UL – the abbreviation for Underwriters Laboratories – helps and guides with information and services. UL certifies, validates, tests, inspects, audits, and advises and trains. They provide the knowledge and expertise to help customers navigate growing complexities across the supply chain from compliance and regulatory issues to trade challenges and market access. In this way, UL facilitate global trade and deliver peace of mind.
UL works closely with a variety of diverse stakeholders to help make the world safer. They optimize the supply chain for manufacturers and retailers and lead in the measures/initiatives/efforts/programs that facilitate global trade. UL collaborates to establish standards that create level playing fields and work to develop new pathways for the latest innovations.
UL services and expertise bring new opportunities to light.
Rapidly evolving thinking about energy efficiency and public safety – along with exciting technological advances – is driving the evolution of the lighting industry, providing greater opportunities and growing challenges. Leverage UL’s safety science expertise, worldwide presence, and active involvement in the lighting industry to gain accelerated access to the global marketplace and to meet regulatory requirements.
UL works to build relationships with the entire lighting supply chain, including manufacturers, retailers, showrooms, designers, regulatory authorities, government agencies and consumers. UL is the only independent laboratory currently serving on the Zhaga Consortium Steering Committee, an industry group that is developing specifications to enable interchangeability for LED light sources made by multiple manufacturers.
The breadth of UL’s service offerings enables our customers to take advantage of cost-saving bundling offers and to eliminate unnecessary redundant testing. UL helps customers meet the performance and energy efficiency requirements in support of programs such as ENERGY STAR®, California Energy Commission, DesignLights Consortium, Lighting Facts, NRCan and Zhaga. Additionally, UL regularly conducts testing to IESNA LM-79, IESNA LM-80, IESNA LM-82 and fluorescent lamp ballast testing requirements. UL’s trusted expertise and network of accredited global laboratories convincingly demonstrates adherence to safety and energy efficiency standards to regulatory authorities.
UL offers targeted services to meet the particular needs of every facet of the lighting industry. And businesses can easily upgrade to UL’s quality services and unmatchable benefits.
Lighting designers and specifiers who are involved in architectural integrated lighting designs or product developments should know about the latest requirements to secure the technical quality of the design and the also include the health factor of lighting.
UL believes in the lighting design profession and partnered the PLDC warm-up in Milan in April 2014.
… or experience wine all senses…
The Osteria Il Grano di Pepe project was developed with the aim of shaping a space which balances the elements necessary for a gastronomic experience par excellence, serving cuisine firmly rooted in Sicilian tradition, with a strong sensory and natural character, in keeping with the most advanced Emilian culinary culture.
The resulting journey addresses the key moments in the definition of the relationship between space and food where the complexity is resolved simply and naturally. The layout is therefore simple, obvious, a classical dualism between serving space / space served: the entrance composition is defined by just a small number of features: a large closet that houses the cloakroom, cutlery, coffee machine and water dispenser, a subtle vertical structure in ash for the till and a wine rack, also in ash; an articulation which responds to the clear, fluid design: the welcome is formal, but at the same time “domestic”. This is also reflected in the materials: the exposed steel, the natural wood, the Sicilian decorative tiles.
As for the lounge, a subjective, convivial space, the multi-sensory experience of tasting is enhanced by the naturalness of the brushed ash table tops and the burnt wood panelling on the walls, which also serve to amplify the intimate and relational nature and reduce sound reverberations. Everything is unified through the horizontal elements: a subtle floor design which evokes the urban piazzas and a ceiling in slate and corten steel.
The Yori LED projectors selected for the lighting of this space blend seamlessly into the setting; their unique embossed matt black finish brings a tactile harmony to the various textures in the lounge – wood, raw concrete and metal.
The high colour rendering index (CRI>90) offered by the LEDs in these luminaires effectively showcases the contrasting elements in the spaces, enhancing the sophisticated yet welcoming nature of the place. The flexibility of the luminaires means the beams can be precisely angled to create accent lighting on the tables or showcase particular features of the structures present, such as bottles of wine, books and paintings.
The careful placement of the projectors within the setting allows the desired lighting effect to be achieved, whilst also significantly reducing energy consumption.
Project: Osteria il Grano di Pepe
Client: Osteria il Grano di Pepe
Location: Ravarino (Modena, Italy)
Architect: Marco Bernardi
Collaborators: Architect Alfredo Borghi, Engineer Andrea PAVANI
Carpentry: Rosario Licciardello
Photos: Lourdes Cabrera
by Joachim Ritter
It is time to stop and think about changing consumer habits. Times change and there is a growing consensus that things are indeed changing for the better. This would appear to be a new approach! When I was a child the grown-ups were constantly telling how “everything was better in the olden days”, which I must admit I didn’t really understand. At the age of 20 I was reasonably content and could not imagine how life could have been better without colour TVs – an achievement that stems from my generation. Society has changed. It is just the perspective and the saying that remain. And when I catch myself thinking that everything really used to be better, or secretly wonder at least if that was not the case, I realise that the under 40s will not have a clue what I am talking about…
For me the incandescent lamp was the best light source ever. It took a while to convince me that the LED might be an adequate alternative. The young generation cannot understand this at all. LEDs offers so many advantages – from energy saving to the fact that you can control them. There is absolutely no question that state-of-the-art lighting has more advantages than disadvantages, and is thus an improvement on the “olden days” of the lamp world.
We have to change. The good old light bulb is going to have to give way to advancement and will no longer be the topic of conversation. At last! Gone are the days of endless debate about whether to call the “beloved” lamp a bulb or an incandescent, when everyone meant the same but were simply using their own vernacular. We will have to find a new pet name for the most popular light source. Perhaps the LED fried egg. The yellow dot with the white bit around it. Or the egg lamp.
Never heard of it? Never seen it? Then you should take a closer look into the spotlights on the market. If I were to found a company that sells LEDs – a practically everyday occurrence on the market – I would consider calling it LEDEg, or in German LEDei (Ei = egg). And if the light source doesn’t work or the colour temperature is wrong, then we can always offer alternative products, because we don’t put all our eggs in one basket.