From the campaign information… ‘As well as designing GravityLight to provide a clean, safe and affordable alternative to kerosene lamps, we also want to create local jobs, skills and livelihoods for those who make and sell GravityLights.’ This is a brilliant idea, deserving of our consideration, and our backing.
One the other hand, something inspirational & thought-provoking without an actual product…
The Premise – Your first design solution may not be the best.
The Advice – Explore options, dig deep, get creative, look for multiple design solutions early.
From the folks at LifeHacker: ‘As design blog Fast Co. Design explains, money, time, or ego might make someone stick to their first idea, even if something better comes along. While creativity is an iterative process, you can bypass the tunnel vision that comes from focusing on a single idea by generating multiple ideas at the start. It helps even more if you can bring other people into that process to help challenge your ideas or offer alternative input.’
This re-enforces a team approach, a collaborative process, and working less in isolation. I have long been an advocate for all that. Bravo!
Let’s face it, large scale light fixtures can often be stunning.
This post will concentrate on some personal favorites, fixtures to find a home for (if I’m lucky enough to get to design spaces where they work well), and the ins & outs of what goes into successful large scale fixture design.
Let’s begin with an outdoor piece. FoxCat Design makes the NI Parasol.
Three channel lighting system with individual one-touch dimming give plenty of looks to this piece. Plus it can be customized by the fabric color used. The down-light ribs uses color temperature of 1800K LED candle light colour making it easy on the eyes at night time. The up-light ribs uses colour temperature of 2200K warm light color. The parasol can even be lit while closed to provide a ‘torch-like’ light to the surroundings. This is a red-dot design award winner from 2014.
Moving inside now. Large domed and drum shape lights have been around for ever. However, getting them right so glare from exposed lamping isn’t an issue is a design challenge. Below are a few designers who met that challenge head-on.
The Super Gea from LZF is one fine example, by Spanish designer Marivi Calvo.
This lovely is a perfect ‘clean lines’ minimal approach to lighting a space, and its available in 9 wood veneers to make it easy to match with various color schemes. This has a bottom diffuser to hide direct view of the lamping. Simple and effective.
Another LZF item, the Spiro SG by designer Remedios Simón is a bit larger than the Gea and uses a pattern of various wood circles to diffuse the light source.
You should be able to find this in a variety of word & color combinations.
Here is an example of a design that makes no bones about the source, but almost celebrates it. Called the Hatchlight, its part of a commissioned installation in a series of Paris restaurants, by Studio Robert Stadler.
The glare is minimized using a ‘silver-tipped’ lamp (where the silver coating hides the filament from direct view and re-directs the light in this case back up into the bowl of the fixture). Plus the hand applied lining makes each lamp unique. There is a great projection of patterns to the floor from this dome. I also like the tight cone of light and how as one moves through the space there would be this dynamic movement in and out of these illuminated pools.
Here is the direct opposite of the Hatchlight… Paul Cocksedge’s Capture, is a hand-spun aluminum dome that holds a glowing white light. The hollow 5 ¼ foot piece is more or less a lighting fixture, but all of the infrastructure that you normally associate with lights are invisible. The wiring, bulb and electrical cables are hidden away, and instead viewers simply see a flat, white light that appears captured by a film across the base of the dome. The opening of the dome is actually empty and the light source is totally invisible, which creates a trippy effect that leaves you wondering where the light is coming from and where it’s going.
“I didn’t want to see the light source, what I’m interested in is light itself, just light” Cocksedge says. “I was trying to create an object when you look up into it, there’s absolutely nothing there apart from light.”
On to another projected piece on a grand scale… Focus Lighting designed lighting for the Science Storms exhibition in the Museum of Science & Industry in Chicago IL USA. Seen here, spotlights shoot 60 feet down through large liquid-filled disks and project ripple patterns on the floor to allow exploration of liquid wave dynamics.
Materials also play an important role in successful large-scale lighting. Typical metal and glass can be augmented with or replaced by wood, silk, plastics, felt, etc. in fascinating ways.
Ending now with lighting on the grandest of scale! The XXL(amp) is essentially a flattened dome, inspired by the shape of a Chinese lantern. The twelve-segment construction makes the connection with the lantern, but a pumpkin perhaps comes to mind, or a hot-air balloon.
Interested in seeing more like these? Hit the link to browse my Pinterest.