05. Sep 2014

No. 94 – Lighting cultures and crossover

Jul/Aug 2014

Formula for flowing forms
Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku/AZ
Text: Joachim Ritter
Azerbaijan as a country is undergoing massive changes in its cultural identity. The nation is developing its own identity from a mix of cultural elements based on its soviet past, Islamic religion, the gas and oil energy industry, and a new understanding of Western architecture. Baku, the capital city, is at the epicentre of this change. Exemplary modern architecture such as the Flame Towers and Baku Crystal Hall, which was completed in time for the Eurovision Song Contest in 2012, are already shaping the capital’s skyline. To that has now been added the Heydar Aliyev Center, a further example of the country’s open and forward-looking approach.

Melting snow
The Snow Apartment in Zhangjiakou/RC by penda
Text: Joachim Ritter
Now is the time for new approaches and ideas. Technological quantum leaps only lead to truly great evolutionary milestones when the innovator is able to free him/herself completely from traditional structures and mindsets and break new ground that initially does not seem possible. New ideas for light in architecture can therefore never be simply considered a trend, but rather a breakthrough to new cultural dimensions.

A grand job
The new TAO Downtown restaurant in New York City/USA
Text: Joachim Ritter
TAO Downtown is tucked under the Maritime Hotel amidst a sea of trendy restaurants in New York’s Chelsea neighbourhood. Given that there are already over 16,000 full service restaurants in New York City, it takes a good deal of positive thinking, if not boundless selfconfidence, to believe that a new one is bound to beat the rest. A restaurant’s reputation lives or dies depending on the quality of the food – and the service, and the cleanliness, and the overall atmosphere. So what works here?

Learning by experience
The contextual practicalities of working on projects in India
Text: Anusha Muthusubramanian, Integrated Lighting Design
A lighting design project, from inception to completion, is a long winding process.
A designer’s vision can only be properly translated from paper to site by meticulously
working through a myriad of contextual and technical issues. Experience teaches the
designer the knack of working your way through. India is one of the countries where there
are enormous opportunities for lighting design projects and is also progressing rapidly
with regard to the latest trends and technologies. Contextually, it has its own challenges
and advantages in the way a project is coordinated and executed. Knowing the dynamics
of process helps the designer to effectively guide the lighting concept to reality. Lighting
design is also a fairly recent profession in India but is gaining awareness and prominence.

Reflected light in Iranian architecture
Design with reflected light

Text: Hamid Moslehi, Founder Member of the Illuminating Engineering Society of Iran
Reflection is an integral part of the art and the science of lighting. It plays a crucial role in both architecture and luminaire design and manufacture. As a result of research and experimentation, we now understand how to exploit the potential of reflection: by focusing light on specific objects or surfaces we can create luminance and atmosphere. Since ancient times, human beings have endeavoured to use reflection purposefully in architecture and the Persians were among the first to design with reflected light: they developed the unique art of decorating walls and ceilings with mirror mosaics.

The collaboration of light, art and architecture in Western culture
A critical review
Text: Dorukalp Durmus
Imagine you are in total darkness. Even though your eyes are wide open, you are not
able to identify any object due to the lack of light. It is a condition really hard to achieve in
today’s highly technological world. We are surrounded by everyday objects that provide
illumination constantly, such as phones, computers, watches, alarm clocks, fridges, TV and if nothing else the stars even on the darkest night. However, you can attain the desired condition in a controlled space or a lab, if you are eager to try what is coming next.


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