Lighting and Culture

Singapore 25th February 2013

Back to reality of work…in Singapore with a big stack of things to clear on my desk. Time management is key to our profession so we always try to achieve economy of scale and delegate or redirect as much as we can. I am confirmed as a speaker at the Lighting Concepts Summit in Doha, Qatar later this year and I have been preparing my presentation so I can sent an outline of my topic to the organisers for publishing. At the same time I had to write my regular column for Lighting Today Magazine so I combined my creative writing juices to share the topic for both. Of course my presentation will be 45 minutes or so while my column is only about 800+ words without images, not exactly the same but the intent is the same. And since I am at it I use it for today’s blog as well…

I cannot reveal too much details of my presentation of course but I can certainly give the general angles on what I am going to talk about in Doha. The title will be “Lighting design and local culture” in which I am going to lead the audience along the path of how local culture influences (or not!) our lighting design process. For most of us lighting designers our projects are spread over many different countries and thus many cultures. We do not really have any boundaries when it comes to work. Today we have a project in Korea, tomorrow in the Maldives. Climate, geography, population, food, local culture (including architecture) and people determine the ingredients of the project location.

The Google portal and the increasingly easier travel (budget airlines!) allow people to sample and experience other cultures and their designs from around the world at their fingertips or in person! It is therefore not surprising that we find a “Chinatown” or an Italian restaurant for example in virtually any city we go around the world. But some things are universal; the Mac Donald’s concept in Shanghai is the same as MD in Melbourne except for the language and currency. So we find on one hand the globalisation of brands and images (think retail and F&B outlets) which look the same wherever you are versus the localised interpretation of concepts. The difference is culture and the question is in how far does lighting design play a role in creating that local feel?

Light Watch 4-34: McDonalds Shanghai, Tokyo and Melbourne…

25. February 2013 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: light watch, lighting and culture, lighting design | Leave a comment

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