Lighting design style
Shanghai, 15th November 2009
Last night I was invited as a guest to gala dinner organized by the Italian Chamber of Commerce which was held in the Ballroom of the newly renovated Peninsula Hotel in Shanghai. I had already intended to visit the hotel in its new glory to check out the lighting, so this was the perfect occasion! As I was sitting at a table with lighting minded people (our table host was IGuzzini) I got into a discussions about the lighting of the ballroom. I had noticed that there were some strong bright splashes of light across the wall, seemingly random, possibly the result of bad aiming of some of the down lights along the walls. I couldn’t tell whether it was accidental or premeditated. But because the artwork and walls were not accentuated, the few bright flashes brought some much needed visual spark to the room.
I got into an argument about lighting design styles as I argued that the light patches were accidental and that greater care should have been given to actually organize the lighting according to the interior design rhythms and artwork locations on the walls. Someone else argued that it was more of an artistic license to break with the expected and apply random effects in an otherwise organized interior. Which led me to reflect on the fact that probably all lighting designers are creative in their own way, however for some the creative process follows more organized, logical and practical patterns, for others it is artistic, free flowing and non-conventional . By the way I still don’t know whether the effect was intentional of accidental….