Encounters with the 3rd dimension
China, 12th December 2009
Whenever I can I will make time to check our lighting drawings before they are issued to the client. I have a great team but I know that with my experienced eye, I can spot potential lighting issues faster then anybody else. Our documentation is mostly two dimensional, but the fact is that lighting effects are three dimensional. The ability to anticipate the effects of the lighting in a 3 dimensional space are key to a good end result.
I remember well the shock of coming to site in my early days to discover that what looked big on a two dimensional plan wasn’t that big anymore once the third dimension came in… the walls! And that is what I mean…having the ability to read two dimensional drawings as a three dimensional space and understanding how light will be distributed in that space and where light will be intercepted by these vertical surfaces. We all know about the unwanted scallops, the reflections, the glare created by lights that where planned perhaps not with full understanding of the three dimensional space. I say perhaps, because I know that a lot of things happen in the process of design and that some are beyond our control.
As a lighting designer it is crucial to have had these encounters with the third dimension to better anticipate how the lighting in the ceiling will not only relate to the floor plan but more importantly to the vertical elevations that make up the space!