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Paul James - Editorial Comment

Issue 54 Apr / May 2010

As an international magazine, we are under constant pressure to find the best lighting schemes throughout the world.

More often than not however, the plum projects that make a spectacular feature - you know, the really lip-smackingly big ones with high end specifications and top quality lighting designers - can be found in the usual Western countries where lighting design is well established (UK, USA, Germany etc) or in the rich emerging nations in the UAE (Abu Dhabi, Dubai etc). So when news of such a project arrived in my inbox I quickly scanned the email expecting to find one of the usual suspects - New York? London? Tokyo? It was a German lighting designer - Berlin? Bonn? Frankfurt? Munich? No, what’s this name? ... Tashkent. Tashkent? Where’s Tashkent?!

It turns out that Tashkent is the capital of Uzbekistan and Gerd Pfarré, the lighting designer in question, had been tasked by the Republic of Uzbekistan to create a glamorous lighting scheme for its brand new Palace of International Forums, a purpose-built venue intended for official invitations, events and international conferences. Adorned with crystal chandeliers, floating spheres and disclights, and featuring a total of 9,400 lamps and 255,000 LEDs, the Palace is one of the most spectacular interior lighting schemes I have ever seen. And the fact that the government of, on the face of it, a minor country has had the guts to commission such a project makes it even more commendable.

Continuing with the unusual location theme we are also covering a very highly specified project in Jinan, China by renowned Chinese lighting designer Wang Dongning. We have become accustomed to seeing even experienced lighting designers working on Chinese projects bowing to local pressures by having their specifications replaced by sub-standard equipment. Not with the Shandong Radio and TV Center. This landmark structure features high quality lighting products that will ensure the scheme will not fade away once the razzmatazz of the opening ceremony has passed.

To round things off we are also covering projects in Cairo, Bahrain, Caracas, Brisbane and Sydney...

Not a usual suspect in sight!



Paul James The editor at the Grand Café Usine in Eindhoven, the site where Philips lamps were once produced
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