The week that was 13-17th April
Milan, weekend 18-19 April 2015
Monday 13; Milan – Leonardo Da Vinci!
Arrived in Milan early this morning for our Euroluce and IGuzini visit. I am undertaking this visit as one of the international advisors to the CLDA (the Chinese Lighting Designer Association) and our mission this trip is multiple; first to get a feel of the latest lighting developments at the fair and second to develop relations with quality manufacturers with the aim to support each other in improving the quality of lighting in China. Believe it or not but even the Chinese lighting designers are fed up themselves with the poor quality products they are sometimes forced to work with. Highlight of the day was undoubtedly the specially arranged visit to the Cenacolo Vinciano which houses the original Leonardo Da Vinci mural painting “The Last Supper” (created sometimes between 1494-1498). It was recently restored with special lighting from IGuzzini allowing a bit more prolonged viewing times, but for conservation purpose visits are strictly limited and exceptional. Visitors go through triple airlocks to keep out air pollution with temperature and humidity kept at constantly monitored levels. With the detailed expert explanations we received it was an absolute unique experience. Lighting temperatures (3400K), CRI (95) and intensity were providing an excellent visual impression of the painting. IGuzzini’s Piergiovanni Cereglioli, who willbe speaking at PLDC in Rome later this year was so kind to give us the lighting background. Appreciation of the lighting is very subjective in my opinion, but most of all I could not help thinking how Leonardo Da Vinci himself would have been going about his painting. It is my understanding that he painted it during the day from 8am onwards, not with any artificial lighting…hence the final choice of 3400K for the artificial lighting is interesting…
Tuesday 14, Milan – Euroluce
Today was pretty much Euroluce day, Halls 9 to 15. The regulars like Flos, Artemide, Targetti, Vibia, Fontana Arte, Foscarini and so on, had company of more architecturally focussed companies like LineaLight, Simes, Delta, Modular, etc. Interesting to note was the presence of LG with a whole stand dedicated to OLEDs. Overall I did not see or feel any spectacular products or developments, but then this is a more decoratively oriented fair rather than technical performance. The only thing that did stood out to me was Viabuzzone’s N55 system, a cleverly designed component systems that consists of a proprietary 4-pin lamp holder base, a fitted COB engine unit and a multitude of attachments, from performance based reflector systems to decorative light globes of a variety of shapes and forms. This is a development that I am keen to see replicated. I was alsso duly impressed by their integrated illuminated retail shelving system. The systems were on display in Viabuzzone’s showroom located right in the middle of the city centre’s design district. The showroom including the temporary outdoor space and artwork, were the highlight for me. At the Euroluce fair itself I would say that the honours go to FLOS (now with Ares outdoor lighting) for an outstanding stand and great innovative products.
Wednesday, 15 Recanati – IGuzzini factory
After a 400km drive to Recanati we spent the rest of the day at the factory to make sure the CLDA delegates got a good feel and understanding of production quality and the amount of effort and dedication that go into producing quality products including optic design and product engineering, quality control, testing, certification and logistics. Metal works, painting, components, assembly, warehousing, tc., are all part and parcel of the final product that one day will see it installed in a project mostly specified by one of the (lighting) designers in this world. It is without doubt that IGuzzini is one of the leading European lighting manufacturers which is clearly visible from their professionalism on all levels, on the factory floor, in their offices and in receiving their visitors irrespective their backgrounds. The day was completed by a visit late at night (after a late dinner) to their outdoor lighting lab, showcasing the lighting effects of their key range of products in actual application. This included the latest smart road lighting system demonstrated along an actual road with a driving car…the future is here…
Thursday 9 Recanati – Light First; Martin and IGuzzini
This is the day that I wanted to give something back to the IGuzzini team in Recanati in appreciation of the many years of collaboration an many project. It was an opportunity to share a number of my projects in which their products had featured prominently and I wanted to share the design process and actual implementation on site to give the team a better understanding of what we do and what how their products end up being used. Many of them had seen the beautiful pictures of the completed projects or seen media feeds, even lighting design awards, as feedback of success, but getting an actual detailed run through from design concept to final completion was a feedback that only the lighting designer could provide. Besides the company staff several architects and designers from the region where in attendance and from the feedback received it was clear that this talk was highly appreciated…not often do the lighting designers using “their” products come to the factory to share their experience in doing so! As my presentation progress statements and key phrases were tweeted life on IGuzzini’s twitter and other social media. A very switched on event, thanks for making this possible!
PS: And Max, next time drive a bit more carefully please!… I am honoured you crashed your car to try and make it in time for my talk… luckily it ended with only material damage…Light AND Safety First!
Friday 10 Milan – Back to Euroluce
A final day at the fair with some business and potential project meetings as well as a final tour of the fair including some parts of the Salone di Mobile as interestingly you sometimes find innovative ways of lighting applications. The CLDA delegation leaves on a high that I am sure, as they got a great insight of the workings of an internationally reputed company like IGuzzini as well as seeing some of the great names in the industry displaying their quality products at the fair. With all them very familiar with the Asian fairs (Hong Kong, Guangzhou, etc) it must have been an eye-opening experience to tour a fair with hardly any Chinese company on display. I am convinced that the newly acquired knowledge will help to firm up their belief in quality and most of all spur them on to promote better lighting quality with their clients back in China. A successful trip for sure…
The week that was…