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Paul James / Pete Brewis - Editorial Comment

August / September 2014

An introduction to the latest issue from the editor Paul James and deputy editor Pete Brewis ...

Paul James, editor, writes:  
Like buses, mondo*arc has never offered free gifts for our readers and then two come along at once! Both come courtesy of collaborations with our friends at Light Collective and both are inserted into the pages of this edition. Now this isn’t a Smash Hits-style attempt at giving away some flouncy trinket in order to gain favour with our readers. Both have artistic and professional merit.

The first is an A1 poster of the newly updated UK Lighting Design Family Tree graphic (only available to UK subscribers). Meticulously created by Sharon Stammers and Martin Lupton of Light Collective for the Designers With Light Forum at May Design Series, it is an important piece of research (and one that took an awful long time). Kindly sponsored by Xicato, the event was a huge success (which, in no small part, was due to the excellent range of Scottish brews supplied by Mike Stoane Lighting) with over 100 lighting designers attending the presentation by Sharon and Martin and the subsequent beer imbibing party. The graphic reveals an incredible 142 lighting design practices (including divisions of other architects/engineering firms) operating in the UK with 254 lighting designers taking part. The number of practices we have recorded has virtually doubled since 2011, the first time our Family Tree was attempted, and is a real barometer as to the health of the lighting design profession.

The second offering, courtesy of our pals at Factorylux, is the beginning of a series of natural light in architecture limited edition postcards that will be inserted in each issue of mondo*arc and darc magazines for the next twelve months (you lucky people!). Specially chosen by Light Collective from the Corbis archive, the series will reveal a range of images where natural light is vital to making these iconic architectural spaces work, but with a coloured twist! See page 24 for the reasoning behind their first choice, the Guggenheim Museum.

I feel immensely pleased and privileged that we are involved in these two projects that highlight just how important lighting and the profession of lighting design is. Watch out for more innovations in the months to come.

Pete Brewis, deputy editor, writes: To paraphrase WH Davies: what good is life if you don’t allow the occasional hour to slip away whilst lost in some new wonder? If you’re anything like me, I suspect two features in this August/September issue will prove particularly difficult to resist pausing and poring over. The first of these honeytraps is of course the UK Lighting Designer Family Tree. If God is in the detail, then Light Collective could well be the unheralded prophets of the lighting industry. Like many prophets, their message may not at first be entirely clear - What do all the colours mean? Where do the lines start and end? (Answer: don’t worry about it.) But it is undoubtedly a thing of beauty. And, as Paul explains above, our lucky UK readers will have the chance to hang it within eye-shot and decipher its geometric knots at their leisure. If some deeper truths do emerge, please get in touch and share the wealth!

As the ‘tree’ ably demonstrates, the lighting design profession is a wonderfully interconnected web and any opportunity to bring together some familiar, friendly faces is always a cause for celebration. One of those dropping by for the Family Tree’s unveiling at the Designers With Light Forum was Michael Grubb, whose studio has put together the last page ‘Inspirations’ artwork for this issue. A homage to both Blake and  the wider lighting industry, it’s another flash of creative fun that’ll steal way too many minutes from your day. And why not! Make a brew. Dig out the Blu-tack. Stand and stare.



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