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White & White LED Clock? Black & White LED Clock? Both, Thanks to Vadim Kibardin!

I saw initially one of the two models (White & White LED Clock) and thought to myself…  “Self, doesn’t it seem weird that the letters don’t have a black background for those days when the board room is bathed in sunlight?”  Frankly I’m always just glad that I never hear myself answer back, so I’m just going with that theory as the guiding principle of the day — don’t ask yourself questions that you don’t want yourself to answer, uh, yourself.  Yeah.  Along those lines.

These two fixtures are the work of Vadim Kibardin and his studio.  Vadim is a designer that will change the world.  Bold statement?  Nah, I’m pretty sure that other people agree with me, too!

Here’s Black & White:

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and here’s White & White, the all magenta version of the fixture.  I kid, OF COURSE I mean CONGO BLUE!

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Very awesome.  Thanks to Vadim for his brain, and thanks to his studio website for the images!  Both of the clocks run around $220, and are manufactured in China.  There is a heck of a lot of beautiful work in Vadim’s shop, he is truly a mast.  I highly recommend checking him out!

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Dancing With Light

I’m going to just let this video speak for itself… Anything I say isn’t going to begin to express the INSERT-EXCITED-AND-OVERWHELMINGLY-POSITIVE-ADJECTIVE-HERE-ness of this video.

Thank you so much to Nicola Andrews for sharing this on her Tumblr, and to TED for sharing the fact that design and light can be just as inspiring as the variety of their other talks.

So Fly(light)

Studio Drift’s Fragile Future has been a favorite of mine since I saw it years ago at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City. And they’re still cranking out the awesome!

Flylight is another beautiful design from Studio Drift. Each piece is composed of at least 180 glass tubes, each individually controlled and sensitive to movement. They react to movement according to a programmed DNA. Each movement of Flylight is unique; there are no repeating patterns. Read about what Studio Drift says about the design DNA below:

The glass tubes that light up and respond to the viewer are inspired by the behavior of a flock of birds and the fascinating patterns they seem to make randomly in the air. Actually this behaviour is not as accidental as it looks; birds have to keep a safe distance from each other. What will happen if an intruder interrupts their flight? This is what the viewer will experience when approaching the FLYLIGHT. We converted this bird-behaviour into a digital DNA and translated it into understandable visualizations with light.

Check out a bit of the video below to see how the piece interacts with humans:

The Bay Lights

Wow! The Bay Lights proposal is one of the coolest urban public lighting proposals I’ve seen in a while. The San Francisco Bay Bridge is a massive canvas, and an unparalleled location for a lighting playground. Numerous cities have treated their bridges with light, but for some reason, this particular proposal just glows:

The Bay Lights website is absolutely worth checking out. They are also looking for support, so if you are in a position to offer any, that information is also on their website, along with multiple renderings, videos of the bridge and project supporters, and more.

Cars With Fricken Laser Beams

Ok, so maybe not quite.

However, this is still neat: The BMW Group has been developing laser headlights for vehicles. With intensity a thousand times, a fuel consumption at less than half even their current LEDs, and a size one hundred times smaller, the desire to develop this technology is quite self-explanatory.

This opens up all sorts of new possibilities when integrating the light source into the vehicle. The BMW engineers have no plans to radically reduce the size of the headlights however, although that would be theoretically possible. Instead, the thinking is that the headlights would retain their conventional surface area dimensions and so continue to play an important role in the styling of a BMW, while the size advantages could be used to reduce the depth of the headlight unit, and so open up new possibilities for headlight positioning and body styling.

The laser diodes used originally emit blue, but through interacting with a fluorescent phosphor is converted to a “pure white light.” BMW highlights the safety of the lasers for all road users profusely in their press release. The laser headlight technology would be compatible with BMW’s LED “Dynamic Light Spot” which is an intelligent, targeted illumination of obstacles.

Further knowledge: For design geeks, the film Objectified is a fantastic documentary, in which Chris Bangle of the BMW group speaks on industrial design. As if that’s not enough, Apple’s stud muffin Sir Jonathan Ive talks about robust aluminium.

Unnnff.

SETC 2011 Design Competition Presentation Tonight!

I’m in Atlanta today and tomorrow judging the SETC 2011 Design Competition, which starts today.  This is such an exciting time for student designers, and as students set up their design displays and get ready for judging, there is a lot of buzz here at the Atlanta Hilton!

I’m going to be offering a very special prize to the winner of the SETC Lighting Design award for this year – I haven’t told the student designers yet, but the winner of the SETC Lighting Design award will get to have their design work displayed in a post on JimOnLight.com for the world to see!

I am very honored to be presenting with some amazing designers who also have the fortune of being amazing people.  The scenic design respondent is Judy Juracek.  You might know Judy from her line of excellent texts on painting, like Surfaces:  Visual Research for Artists, Architects, and Designers.  Judy is a scenic artist in New York City, and she’s worked everywhere from film and television to Broadway, opera, and industrial events.

Costume designer Fred Lloyd is here responding to the costume design entries this year at SETC.  Fred is an amazing guy with a distinguished career – most recently as the Costume Supervisor for AMC’s Walking Dead, and is currently the Resident Costume Designer for the Gainesville Theatre Alliance.

It feels great to be a part of such an excellent group of designers and artists, hands down.  If you’re here at the SETC 2011 Conference, please come to the Design Competition and Distinguished Guest Designer Presentations tonight at 7pm in the Grand Salons A and B.  I hope to see you there!

Burgundy – A New .PSLAB Beiruit Lighting Design Project

My favorite Lebanese lighting design firm, .PSLAB out of Beirut, has just finished another interesting project – a wine bar/restaurant called Burgundy.  I just heard from my pal Ramsi at the firm this morning, and I am excited to share the project images!

From the .PSLAB press release:

A lighting project for a wine bar/restaurant having a substructure of wooden arched beams cutting through a wire mesh covering the ceiling. The setting of the space underneath the substructure is functionally divided into two sections: a bar area and a dining area.

Highlighting the dual function, the lighting objects are set on two parallel axes over these two sections.

Suspended from the arcs, each light object is a set of conical tubes conceived to fill a circular-shaped area. Clustering in the circle, the tubes start at the center; moving radially, they begin to deviate at an angle of 25 degrees to reach an angle of 45 degrees. This deviation renders a chandelier-like object, with a bottom curved outline opposite to that of the ceiling. The cluster of the tubes housing the bulbs creates an effect of a singular light source being filtered.

The entrance is lit by a set of black projectors also using the arched beams for fixation; the groove in the beams encloses the technical parts box, while the head of the projector is left loose to rotate shedding light in different directions.

A lighting project for a wine bar/restaurant having a substructure of wooden arched beams cutting through a wire mesh covering the ceiling.The setting of the space underneath the substructure is functionally divided into two sections: a bar area and a dining area.Highlighting the dual function, the lighting objects are set on two parallel axes over these two sections.Suspended from the arcs, each light object is a set of conical tubes conceived to fill a circular-shaped area. Clustering in the circle, the tubes start at the center; moving radially, they begin to deviate at an angle of 25 degrees to reach an angle of 45 degrees. This deviation renders a chandelier-like object, with a bottom curved outline opposite to that of the ceiling.

The cluster of the tubes housing the bulbs creates an effect of a singular light source being filtered.The entrance is lit by a set of black projectors also using the arched beams for fixation; the groove in the beams encloses the technical parts box, while the head of the projector is left loose to rotate shedding light in different directions.

Cool!  My other favorite type of lighting design is architectural and interior – so these kinds of projects always thrill me to write about whenever they come across the desk!

Check out some images – and make SURE to check out .PSLAB’s website!

Thanks, Ramsi!

Art Lebedev Studios’ Spectrus USB Hub – Interesting Design!

I just came across this product by my favorite Russian design studio, Art Lebedev Studios.  The studio has designed this interesting USB hub – modeled after the idea of a prism splitting light into the colors of the rainbow:

This thing is COOL!  What I love almost more than Lebedev Studios products is their process sketches – and the fact that they actually include them on the website!  Check out these process shots:

What kinda bums me out is what the product finally ended up being, at least on the Lebedev Studios product page for Spectrus, is a product with no LEDs embedded for maximum awesome.  Here’s what the initial render looked like, LEDs and all:

and here is what they ended at – just colored lines on the case, no illumination:

I still think it’s cool.  But it would have been SO MUCH COOLER illuminated!!!  Art Lebedev, your studio still rocks to me.

Torch Chandelier – or Flashlight Chandelier, to the Americans Among Us

We had some funny conversations in Sweden about the word “flashlight.”  You see, when you live in the US, a “flashlight” is the thing that you grab when you need a portable illumination device that can be powered with batteries.  When you live everywhere else in the world, that flashlight is called a torch.

“Hey, where is the flashlight?”
“What the hell is a flashlight?”
“It’s a – it’s a flashlight, dude.  You know, a flashlight.”
“Oh.  You mean a torch.”
“Okay, cool.  So where is that flashlight?”

Nice.

Check out this version of a hanging luminaire from Anarc of Germany – the Torch Chandelier:

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Anarc’s Torch Chandelier is literally a bunch of flashlights (I mean torches) that are wired together, fitted with LED lamps, and – well, no and, that’s pretty much it.  It’s simple, it’s awesome, and best of all, it’s simple.  It’s almost a mockery of the flashlight, isn’t it?

I like mockery.

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I highly recommend checking out Anarc’s site – there is a lot of material to see!

An Architect’s Perspective On Rendering?

I just read a post at Young Architect about rendering – more specifically, the article was stating that rendering is something that should be “avoided at all cost.”  I am a bit shocked by the post – not because of the concept that rendering is difficult, but because you wouldn’t render your design or architecture because rendering is time-consuming and difficult.  Being a lighting designer, for example, I cannot imagine going to a client with a light plot and telling that client their project will be illuminated. I doubt I’d get any clients if I couldn’t (or just refused to) communicate what a design looks like without showing them through some kind of rendering.

I learn things about my design when I render – I fix things when I create renderings.  Most times I am able to perfect and clarify my design through doing the renderings.  Communicating, whether you’re a designer, architect, engineer, or some other derivation of these, is part of your job.  Communicating and collaborating.

I won’t launch a diatribe about this subject – but I am really, really curious about your thoughts on it.  Read the article at Young Architect, and let me know what you think – post below in the comments, please!