illumni’s ‘The Lighting’s On The Wall’ by Robert White, Principal of Illuminart
Today Robert White, Principal of Illuminart is crystal balling the next big trend in colour. Let us know what you think?
Color change without design content has become so common that it will fall out of favor and fade back into obscurity. Good design will still embrace it but with a mature approach that appropriately marries its strengths with whatever design message is being fostered. Lighting effect for effect’s sake will disappear like the once ubiquitous Moog synthesizers and drum machines (although Kraftwerk ist immer exempt!). I have been fortunate to gain recognition with several designs applying LED on a grand scale (McNamara Passenger Tunnel back in 2001 and the Qatar National Convention Centre 2012 in design support to Lee Prince Light + Design) but like all trends at some point enough is enough and the world will recognize that good lighting design, using whatever range of techniques, will actually outlast tastes of the moment.
This is what drove my inspiration for our installation piece (Contour 1) for Detroit’s D’lectricty project where artists from around the world did temporary lighting installations for two nights (Oct 6-7 2012). Working in collaboration with Brienne Willcock (also from Illuminart) we decided on an unheard of anti-color changing anti-video projection approach! Wind movement on highly reflective chrome mylar balloons created an ever changing merry dance of reflections of the surrounding natural and built environment.
Over 500 balloons created a playful experience that was quite engaging both day and night. Static white light structures cast some upliight from below and augment fixed architectural lighting which I had designed 5 years prior as part of the campus renovation added to the effect. It was fun and informative. We are looking for ways to apply this approach to other types of lighting and design projects.
Photos by Doug Coombe