SausLamp – A Carbon Fiber Flexible Spine-Like Lamp Thing

This thing is pretty cool – meet the SausLamp from OFIS Arhitekti, a design firm based in Slovenia.  I feel ridiculous, but I had to go look up where that is!

SausLamp is a project that is being implemented into another of OFIS’ projects – a student housing project in Paris:

SausLamp is a design that has a sense of consistency – it’s modular, flexible, has essentially endless configurations (i mean, how many things can you come up with?) and gives the user a sense of individuality while somehow still keeping the uniform shape and form factor.  As you’ll see from the images below, OFIS has all kinds of fixture configurations already planned, from desk lamps to floor lamps to street lamps!

The fixture itself is a carbon fiber shell with steel joints.  SausLamp offers an optional opal filter for the opening of each head to further diffuse the light.  Pretty interesting in my humble light nerd opinion!

Check out the SausLamp:

bears a striking resemblance, huh!

Awesome!

The Importance of Light Sources in Architectural Lighting Design Choices

I have a very interesting view from my apartment.  As you can imagine, since I’m typically only home after the sun goes down to appreciate it, I spend a lot of time gazing at the city, Oklahoma City.  I have a great view of most of downtown from my 13th floor city view condo, and I have large windows that open to air, allowing me to get great unimpeded shots of the entire area.

I take a lot of pictures of downtown Oklahoma City – it is so interesting to me to watch the city go from sunset to artificial light, almost as if it has a beating heart that only comes alive at night.  To watch the buildings flicker alive with their exterior illumination is like watching a giant living, breathing, feeling being come into its own each day as the sun goes to bed.

There is one thing that of course I would notice over all other beauty in my downtown view – poorly maintained architectural lighting.  As such a fan of great design in lighting and architecture, when I see a building that generally has aesthetically pleasing features, and then I see those features slaughtered by poorly maintained exterior lighting.  It’s kinda like falling in love with someone and getting dumped on your tukus for no reason – a major disappointment.  That example might be a wee bit extreme, but I think I get the point across – bad architectural lighting makes a city look ugly.

I think this really comes down to light source choice when planning the exterior illumination design.  As designers, we are responsible (at least in MY head) for choosing lighting that is going to not only support the architecture, but to accentuate it as well.  This comes down to many things overall – and I think one of them is being well versed in the lamp life and longevity of both lamps and fixtures that we choose to add to buildings.  If you choose poorly in your exterior lighting fixture and lamp choices, then your design is going to become the victim of maintenance.

Case in point:  Oklahoma City’s Museum of Art – I have a clear view of the building from my apartment.  What really sucks is that I don’t have a picture of the building with all of the architectural lighting working.  I’ve lived in my apartment since mid-July 2010.  Check out the building illuminated at night:

I’ve been on top of that building – changing the lamps in the architectural lighting atop the museum is not difficult because you can literally walk around and access most of the bases.  However, there have to be several thousand lamps in that design (the lamps are a bit bigger than C-9’s), and changing them what seems to be at least bi-weekly seems to be the only way to have them all work.

Would you say that this lighting design is efficiently using maintenance’s time?

Here’s another look at the structure, this time less of them are burned out:

And another with more lamps out:

Another building in town that has interesting potential (and has a pretty good record for upkeeping the architectural lighting) is the OG&E building in downtown Oklahoma City.  The OG&E building has a large swath of red fixtures lining the top of the building itself – I don’t know if they’re neon or just fluorescent with a red diffuser, but it’s generally an interesting look:

Now here’s the OG&E building when some of its fixtures are out:

Just doesn’t quite look the same, huh.

When you make design choices, always try to take into consideration what your work will look like when it’s not maintained.  I think that the aspect of a poorly maintained lighting design isn’t always taken into consideration – which leads to bigger problems in the end.

Chew on THAT!

RED Prime Steak in Oklahoma City – You Need to Train for This Much Awesome

I’m trying not to be a big fat ass this year.  I’ve been pretty successful so far, I’ve lost a few pounds a week.  The one thing I’ve tried hard to do is to stop eating fast food, and instead spend that money on the nicer restaurants around the world.  I’m a lighting nerd, OBVIOUSLY, so one of my favorite parts of this lifestyle change is enjoying the unbelievable lighting designs that the nicer restaurants offer.

I got a bit of a wild hair the other day while driving through downtown Oklahoma City – I saw this place called RED Prime Steak on Broadway, over by Bricktown.  Myself and local photographer Kristen Lee of the famous Stella Shot Me photography studios went to check out the scene.  I mean, after all the entire place is red inside from the street.  At first glance from the road, RED looks like a pretty upscale place.

Well, it is.  It’s pretty absolutely excellently awesomely upscale.  As a matter of fact, if you are into eating some unbelievably delicious bovine, enjoying some serious mixed drinks and wine (srsly) and being wow’ed by an outstanding lighting design, you need to check out this place.  From the moment you walk into the entrance, designer Rand Elliott’s vision of a “red wind” is ever present, leading you to the center of the venue.

The main bar – up front by the street level:

RED is full of all kinds of nooks and crannies, as well as open sections with tables and seating – Rand Elliott‘s initial design concept for RED was of that representing a “red wind.”  Elliott made this happen with strips of red neon on a grand aisle of the restaurant that shine onto the original brick walls of the restaurant.  It’s quite stunning, actually.  Below is a capture from the RED website with a rendering and a hand sketch:

Check out the “red wind” section of the restaurant – red neon tubes create the ambient light that filters throughout the venue:

Our server, Ross (who is also the head caterer for RED Prime Steak) gave us a tour of the entire facility (as well as providing some excellent choices and recommendations) – the restaurant has a ton of space above it that is used for parties, exquisite or otherwise; there are several very private booths and tables meant for romantic meals or parties of several people.  I’m a huge fan of steak AND light, so this is a place I’ll be revisiting very soon.

The best thing about the lighting design in my eyes is the attention to minute detail throughout the restaurant – a slice of neon hidden there, white accent lighting hidden in crannies to accentuate the soul of the room, and a sense of quality brought forth from the lighting to the food.

If you’re in Oklahoma City and you haven’t tried RED Prime Steak yet, I have no idea what you could possibly be waiting for to happen before you make your RED experience.

Check out a gallery of the images taken at RED Prime Steak that night – great photography by Kristen Lee of Stella Shot Me Photography Studios!  Click on a thumbnail and a magical land of full size images opens up for your enjoyment!

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A Downtown View of Oklahoma City, Lit for the Holidays

Living in a condo tower downtown has its privvies, I guess.   I’m not really much of a downtown dweller, at least lately, but I seem to leave home and return home these days when the sun is still a snooze slap away from waking up.

I certainly take a lot of pictures of the downtown nightscape – my apartment is right next to the Oklahoma City Murrah Building Memorial, and it faces the downtown skyline.  Parts of Oklahoma City are bustling with holiday-themed lighting, and I’m planning a series of photos of the city at night.

Here’s the first installment of architectural lighting from Oklahoma City, OK – this set from the 13th floor of my tower – for reference, here’s the city skyline in August:

…and here’s a detail of the Chase Bank building (and I don’t know the tower to the right yet):

Wider city shot – It’s true – apparently crosses cover the idea of “Holiday” in general here in Oklahoma…

Here’s looking the other way at Oklahoma City, looking southwest:

More shots – click on any one in this gallery, and a Gallery View will open up for your enjoyment!

Let This Bell Tower Rock Your Face

Good morning, everybody!

I woke up this morning before the sun’s alarm went off, and the lights of the city were still gleaming beautifully.  It put me in such an amazing mood.  I hope that I can pass some of this great mood onto you all this morning!

Here’s a start – check out this clock tower, smack in the center of Prague, that just celebrated its 600th birthday.  Mapping company Macula mapped the clock with animations, while sound company Data-Live created the soundscape.  Tomato Production handled all of the site’s production needs.  Prepare to get rocked.

The 600 Years from the macula on Vimeo.

.PSLAB Beirut and MYBAR

Wow, good morning world.  I have to apologize for the last week of relative dead space – I put in about 90 hours last week and toured my design of The Light in the Piazza to a theatre in Arkansas.  It’s been a crazy week!

But to welcome the little bit of sanity I am holding onto right now, I want to post about a new project that PSLAB in Beirut has done.  I got this from my pal Ramsey at the .PSLAB Beirut offices – I have to say that any time I get info from .PSLAB, I have been so impressed.  I get a lot of images from lighting firms all over the world, and .PSLAB produces some of my favorite works.  Their designs are just so worldly and original.

Check out the design for MYBAR, a new bar/restaurant in Beirut.  Some info from .PSLAB:

A bar/restaurant whose space is functionally divided into 3 areas; an entrance corridor, a drinking area, and a dining area. The entrance corridor leads to the drinking area which is separated from the dining area by an irregular shaped staircase extending from a rugged wall starting at the end of the corridor.

We used a line of uplights to light the entrance pathway and connect it to the drinking area.
The uplights continue parallel to the rugged wall and stairs producing a play of shadows created by the different layers in the wall.
The drinking area features floor to ceiling poles carrying small cups’ stands.
To accentuate the curvature of these poles, we set downlights at the top end of each creating a vertical beam of light detached from the rod.

The dining area is characterized by visible white ducts covering the ceiling and maintained over a two-level bar connecting the dining area to the drinking area. The furniture layout in this area follows the layout of those ducts.
We chose to use the visible ducts in order to create a lighting system unifying the two main sections of the space (drinking/dining). Hence, we developed lighting fixtures in white finish, fixed to the ceiling on the sides of the ducts. To have a rectangular horizontal beam of light centered over the tables, a gap created by the circular opening of the duct defines the shapes of the objects.
Continuing over the bar, the light objects are set on one side of the duct and in opposite directions in order to light the path behind the bar. Similarly for the sushi bar in the other end of the space.

Click on each of the images, they open into a gallery!

Beautiful.

Jax’s Link-O-Rama: Mercy Street Edition

I’ve been laid up with a back injury (yup: incurred in the theatre!) for the past few days and am not getting out much.  And so this is the Mercy Street edition, because that’s what happens to be on Pandora right now.

Extremely cool rehearsal photos are from Mr. Gabriel’s website.

Glowcamp!

Have you all heard about Glowcamp?  20 or so people have written telling me about this event in NYC.  From the Glowcamp website:

GlowCamp is a free one-day intensive exploration of light as an aesthetic material. We’re sharing the ideas and technologies used to work with light, and we’re inviting you to come speak about your expertise, demo your projects, ask questions, and find new people to collaborate with. Whether you’re a light artist, a theatrical or architectural lighting designer, a fixture designer, a maker, or a DIYer, you’re welcome and encouraged to attend.

I’m not gonna say much about this right now until I get more details.  Check out the website, now!

The Rise of LX Injected, The Centre for Social Innovation, and the Party to End All Parties

I am kinda loving life.  A lot.  This last week, a new venture that I started with Amanda Lynne Ballard got its wings and took off – LX Injected.

What does LX Injected do?  We create large scale light art.  We also aim to change the world through light.

Toronto’s Centre for Social Innovation just bought a new building in which to create and innovate, and they threw a monster party in said building.  The Party to End All Parties was on Friday of this last week, and people did much rejoicing.  LX Injected was asked to come and turn the space into a work of art in which people could come together and have a blast.

Enjoyment was what we aimed for, and that’s what happened.  We also got to work with some amazing people (Tonya and Colleen, you both rock) and we were fortunate enough to be able to light up a massive, open, and beautiful space.

Check out some images from the evening, courtesy of Amanda Lynne – and also check out the Centre for Social Innovation’s website.  They’re doing really freaking cool stuff.  Life changing stuff.  You might be asking yourself what exactly – so here’s a blurb from the Centre’s website:

The Centre for Social Innovation is a dynamic space in downtown Toronto, Canada. Our mission is to spark and support new ideas that are tackling the social, environmental, economic and cultural challenges we face today. We’re creating the spaces that social innovation needs to thrive and we’re contributing a few of our own ideas along the way!

Cool.  What an amazingly guerrilla and fun design.  I really enjoyed this project!  Support the life changers, use your brains like you’re a ninja!

The first set of images here are of the initial site visit walkthrough with the lovely miss Colleen Diamond.  We chatted about the feel and purpose of the space, and how we could pull some good ol’ urban planning magic to turn our space into a “place.”  Colleen was also quoted during that meeting as saying “nerd is the new passion.”  We love you, Colleen!

After building some very simple fixtures, shopping some fixtures, and purchasing the right lamps (we went mostly 50W PAR20 halogen narrow floods and some 500W wash units for color and splash), we had the evening the night before to get into the space at dusk for hang and focus.

The space before the install:

Natural and fluorescent light

Windows

The Install Night

After the evening before spent building fixtures and wiring them up, the next evening before the actual event we had the space to play, experiment on the various surfaces with light, and get everything rigged and working.  It was an amazing evening, and that warehouse came alive!

Essentially, the design went for motion.  We accented the things we felt were important, created two separate saturated blue areas on contrasting sides of the space for people to be able to “cool off,” if you will from the white light shining on the walls.  With the brick walls themselves we chose to angle the spots grazing the walls to also create an implied motion around the space.  The space around the “bar” created in the venue was a great feeling for us – we lit the glasses and bar surface at a low angle, and through the windows of the space we were able to illuminate the faded but yet still amazing Coca-Cola logo on the side of the adjacent building.

The Bar and the Coke Logo

The Party

The evening was outstanding.  Great people, everyone having fun, people playing in the shadows we created, and people making their own shadows.  Amazing, fun, and I would do it again in a second.  Check out some pics from the party evening, and then below everything is a gallery of all of the shots.  Enjoy!

The gallery of images from the process:

All photos on this page are protected under an Attribution-NonCommercial-No-Derivitives license.  You can repost the photos and content as long as you give attribution to JimOnLight.com and LX Injected.  Photographer credit, unless otherwise noted, is Amanda Lynne Ballard.

Let’s Play CHECK IN with JimOnLight.com in Canada!

I’m in Toronto right now.  Next week I’ll be in Phoenix for a week long show run.  The week after that?  I have no idea.  Let me check my calendar.

So, for those of you who were at the Broadway Lighting Master Classes this year, sorry I missed you!  I wasn’t able to attend this year because of a gig I have in Toronto right now, but I hear I missed some fun partying in the Big Apple!

Let’s see:

I’m lighting up the inside of an excellent space in downtown Toronto this week for the Centre for Social Innovation, who just bought a building!  I’m partnered in a company with everybody’s favorite lumen hunter, Amanda Lynne Ballard, called LX Injected – we’ve started up this venture to bring light art on a large scale to the world.  One of our upcoming projects is the Centre’s new building – LX Injected is lighting up the inside of one of the floors for a gathering this evening, and we’re happy with the product we made last night!  I’ll post lots of pictures after the event is over this weekend.  We’re extremely excited to help out the Centre for Social Innovation and bring some lovely lux to their new digs!

Most of all, I just wanted to check in with the world.  I hope everyone is having an excellent week, a wonderful summer and end to the school year, and enjoyable production and design experiences!  Get out there and light up the darkness!