lighting, retail lighting, urban

My shopping in the US

Men and shopping. I mean, literary, male shopping. Practical, coldblooded, calculated, ending up with last minute presents from a duty free. I had a firm plan fixed for my trip earlier this month; a plan as to what and where. When was left for a chance. The chance never come swallowed by an avalanche of this planet’s acclaimed largest tech convention.

Shrapnel pieces of time I have actually wandered inside a retail outlet end up on this page. Since this blog is not about fashion, neither it is a blog about hobbies, you will see mostly ceilings and some lights.

SHINOLA, SAN-FRANCISCO, CA. Tucked in a cosy street by the Transamerica pyramid, a Detroit life-style icon features plain wooden shelving and tin ceiling. Unfortunately I was not able to find out who the architect of the store was. Shinola’s New York store has been done by a NY practice Rockwell. They are famous for their stage sets. Do track mounted spotlights remind you of a stage too?

WARBY PARKER, SAN-FRANCISCO, CA. I found myself twice on the Hayes street, and hence claimed it mine. Really, if there would be a better location for an indy store, then it would be Hayes street. Eye ware maker, Warby Parker, store renders itself as if a web page suddenly comes alive. Light, white on blue murals (by an SF duo Lab Partners), Roll and Hill lighting fixtures inside and exceptionally good sales associates.

HOGWASH, SAN-FRANCISCO, CA. I remember I was meant to go somewhere else that evening, but 30 draft beer taps… While my companions enjoyed their sausages and sauerkraut at this restaurant near Union Square, I took photos and looked at the details. And boy, someone loved the details! Waffle patterns repeats on the globes too! Shoutout to the makers from Geremia Design.

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DRY GOODS SHOP, THOMASVILLE, GA. American craftsmanship is on the rise. I loved this bespoke set of luminaries in a small shop featuring leather aprons, tool sets, wallets and bitter milk mixers.

… and now unpack and try to readjust to Gulf Standard Time.

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alternative, energy, lighting, renewable

Light Pushes Wind

 

It’s fascinating to watch colossal wind turbines along the shores of Denmark or fields of the Netherlands. They add sleek extraterrestrial grandeur to a pastoral landscape. A windmill could raise as high as the thirty-storey building and produce up to 3.5 MW of electrical power (enough to power about 430 houses).

Spectacular as the windmills are, the Dutch design practice Studio Roseegaarde, turned a wind farm at Sint Annaland in Zeeland into a light installation. Green (ha, green energy, right!) laser beams fired by a smart tracking device aim at a blade of the next windmill  The device predicts accurate position of the blade and thus a seamless movement is created.

The project WINDLICHT can easily be a Kinderdijk of our connected time.

Video courtesy of Studio Roseegaarde on Vimeo.

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art, chemistry, lighting, stars of lighting design

Eight Rules of Light of Mario Nanni

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Maestro Mario Nanni, artist of light and founder of Viabizzuno, legendary architectural lighting firm. He presented his eight rules of light in 2010 in Milan. They are only eight but they are eternal. We have been since keen on finding them in English, but in vain. Here is our endeavour to interpret them.

Rule 1. Absence of Presence

Presence of light, yet absence of a vehicle of light. Magic of emotion and no evidence of a source of light. Transcendence of an object as its surface is washed with the light from a hidden spring.

Rule 2. Light where needed

Chemistry of light: we see in an environment with little light, with almost no light. Just right amount of light allows us to catch expressions, sensations and attention. Light and the only light. Where needed.

Rule 3. The thickness of light

To have thickness is to have volume, to have volume is to create a shadow. The shadow brings out the light, the latter generates volume and defines the space. This light discovers and reads architecture. Light and materia accompany each other.

Rule 4. Light is a construction material

A project is not only a material, it is also a light. Architecture is a projection of light. Too often light is a corrective measure to hide or improve something that has already taken a shape. The light that is invisible yet sensible becomes a material, hence it is necessary to build with light.

Rule 5. Praise the shadow

The dimmer the light, the more powerful it is. Architectural form is born on the border between light and darkness. Positive and negative, the shade empties the light and fills it in. There is no need to use a lot of light to emphasise the object — the shadow will do it.

Rule 6. Moving light

Light follows the rhythm of the Sun, bringing up accents of architecture, its symbols and narrative of the city and its protagonists. The story unfolds. Like in case with Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Variable Image Lamp — VIL — projects blocks of light transforming the surface it hits, changing the boundaries and the depth of the façade itself.

Rule 7. The light creates colour

No object retains constant colour during the day. Darkness washes colours away, because colour is the light. Light gives all its tones, and therefore it is a necessary tool in a lighting designer’s box.

Rule 8. Emotion undescribed

The undescribed emotion of nothing is a powerful feeling, a pleasant sensation experienced in the moment when light wraps the space all around without manifesting itself. The meaning of things is evoked and subtle magic is done. No special effects are needed to light up the sculpture of Sleeping Hermaphroditus. Voluptuous forms need no accent; instead the light must follow a spectator’s glance.

Original text can be found on SpazioFMGperl’architettura. None of us speaks Italian, but we speak the language of light, so in part this translation of Mario Nanni’s Rules could be considered free. Should any of our readers find a proper English version, we would be happy to post on Light Intelligence. 

Photo of Borghese’ Sleeping Hermaphroditus credit: Marie-Lan Nguen

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