A light is a physical object, just as a chair is a physical object, its design is formed in a relationship with the technology, engineering, materials and function encased within. But a light is so much more than the tangible form of which it exists, it both occupies space and describes space; it can not be touched but it can be felt.
The fundamental function of lighting is obvious: to illuminate a space and to act as replacement for natural light. We apply stark bright lights that can best be described as task lights to work places and fast food industries to increase productivity and movement. More ambient warmer lighting is set to adhere to a more comfortable relaxed atmosphere. These two are obvious, but light can also lead people through a space, evoking emotion on a subconscious level affecting our cognition. It has the ability to influence us in every facet of our lives as we are constantly enveloped in its effect.
The technology regarding lighting is at a pinnacle point in that the war is being won on LED and energy efficient lighting but this win is not without loss. As we move forward the iconic incandescent bulb is left behind and with this its warm fiery glow, replaced with alternatives that lack the emotional appeal. Lighting is constantly evolving into something far removed from its predecessor. First we had fire, then we had lanterns and then the incandescent bulb, it’s important we push these boundaries but home owners shouldn't forget the emotional connectivity that can be derived from light.
In reflection designers are adopting and embracing this new technology seeing it as key to unlock doors to a richer lighting experience, with the development of new forms and methods leaving behind old archetypes. With energy efficient lighting far more accessible, design can go further in surpassing the traditional fundamentals of lighting in no longer just lighting a space, but creating an experience within that space.
My notion goes that light is undervalued in the home, as home owners neglect to see true appreciation for light. A lot of thought will go into choosing furniture, wallpaper and even the aesthetics of a light but with regard to the actual light emitted it's a second thought, even though it can influence a space and ergo the person(s) within it. As we look for comfort in a new sofa we should also seek comfort in lighting.
For the reasons above this exploration will aim to identify and understand value in lighting in the home whether it be natural or artificial and uncover the effects that are so often taken for granted.
Light art and light design can often cross paths, as a lights fundamental purpose if to illuminate/project light in whatever way this is done it’s fulfilling its core function. This means the light emitted and the physical structure can manifest itself in whatever way the designer intends. This can see lighting become more abstract in its design, adopting many forms and functions with no clear boundaries. For this reason I pose the question, where is the line between art and design in lighting, or even should there be a line?
Light art allows people to reconnect with their love for light and colour. As such my clear direction is to create a light experience that surpasses traditional methods and through this exploration these will be defined along the way.