Turn the light on!
We go to work in the dark, we come home in the dark, we look at screens - a huge amount of time - and we are constantly exposed to artificial light.
Many people, especially in urban areas of the world, do not even notice the impact of lighting on their life, their mood and even their well-being. Numerous studies show how the way we choose to light up our lifes, influences our everyday and our inner "body clock".
Designers and manufacturers alike ask themselves today more than ever: what is good lighting, what is good lamp design nowadays? Are LEDs still going strong? Blue light or red light? Visual, decorative lamps for the living room or rather alsmost invisible, indirect lighting? How does hotel lighting differ from home lighting, how bedroom from kitchen lighting? What do people expect from lighting manufacturers and lighting designers - and what is best for them? The list goes on!
For our 'iF Design Special: Lighting' we talked to experts and designers in the industry about lighting trends. Scroll through the best lighting design of 2019 in our iF DESIGN AWARD winner collection. See for yourself, what the up and coming designers say about their creations and why light has to adapt to the natural human daily routine.
Get inspired: iF awarded Lighting Designs 2019
From lamps for a cozy evening at home to visual luminous highlights or sculpture-like light installations - this year's awarded designs in the category "Lighting" strike with innovative usability and beautiful design. Scroll through a collection of all awarded designs of 2019 and get inspired - either to bring more (stylish) light in your everyday or to see what it takes to for an award-worthy lighting design!
Who is among the top ten of the best in lighting design?
Whether it is the big global players or rather small European manufacturers that stand for excellent lighting design: There is a great variety among the iF top ten that show how versatile the industry of lighting design is. See below a chart with the top ten lighting design manufacturers from the last five years, including this year's winners like Tobias Grau. The ranking is based on the number of iF awards: 20 points per iF award and 100 points per gold award.
Great lighting design is, of course, important for feeling comfortable at home or at work. However, the arrangement of lighting, the intensity of light can actually have a huge effect on a human's well-being. Biodynamic lighitng and humancentric lighitng are no loan words anymore. Read below what a real sleep expert says about the impact of natural light on your daily energy.
Interview on Biodynamic Lighting with Philips' Sleep Expert Edouard Gebski
In modern times, we simply have to function. At work, on the way to work and even at home. No wonder, people feel more and more exhausted. Little do they know, what a great impact lighting could have on their energy and well-being. Daily exposure to darkness or artifical light cannot be in terms with the natural human body clock. Actually, we even try to manipulate it with artifical lighting. Edouard Gebski is Senior Experience Lead for Sleep & Respiratory Care from Philip’s experience design Pittsburgh Studio and answers why this is not healthy and how people can influence their overall exhaustion or even the so common winter depression with light. This is a topic, very familiar to Philips - their was honored with an in 2018.
iF: Who is the actual target group of such dynamic lighting for Philips?
E.G.: In a broad sense and from a clinical perspective everyone can benefit from the Somneo sleep and wake up light proposition because everyone sleeps. That said, we have identified that the population that expressed the most interest in the benefits offered by the lamp is the one that needs to reach a workplace in time day after day. This “performer” population primarily lives in urban areas and is focused on work performance and cognitive abilities. They desire to feel 100% operational the moment they walk into their workplace and want to maintain a high energy level throughout the day.
Shift in seasons can be challenging for that population. Focus and energy temps to be lowest during the winter months due to lack of light, even if one is getting adequate amounts of sleep. By September, the effects of getting insufficient sleep and light is experienced in more dramatic ways than during other times of the year. In extreme cases, this change is called SAD (short for seasonal affective disorder – Sometimes called winter blues). Therefore, we see an influx of buyers toward the end of the year since lighting design and mimicing daylight helps to reduce the effect of the slowing down of serotonin (happiness hormone) levels and can suppress some of the feeling of grogginess and depression.
iF: How well do designers have to know their inner ‘body clock’ themselves?
E.G.: This is a really interesting question. As designers, or creatives in general, we are trained to show empathy and to be completely focused on our end users/viewers - so much that sometimes we ignore the fact that we are, ourselves, potential targets to the problems which we are trying to address. Unfortunately, many creatives (along with a vast amount of other occupations) have a difficult time respecting their body clocks. Be the long working nights or the big deadline coming up, many of us have at some point worked with random day/night schedules in their studio or home and slept when time allowed. Most believe the creative process demands this freedom to be creative whenever possible and without breaking the creative flow. Everybody has his/her own life/work balance recipe. So most designers are experiencing the issues and symptoms associated with unbalanced schedules. As master problem-solvers, they are therefore in the best position to imagine and implement solutions that improve people’s lives, even in the challenging contexts and constrains of modern society.
iF: So, how strong do the designers at Philips then work with studies and demographics when developing a product like Somneo?
E.G.: Research and empathy building is an integral and critical part of the Philips experience design process. Designers know that in order to create impactful and meaningful solutions, they must deeply understand the customers needs. The best way to gain that deep understanding, is to look at the problem through multiple lenses. Collaboration, co-creation, focused listening, tinkering, prototyping and iterative approach was therefore critical to success throughout the development of the Somneo Wake up light. A combination of soft and hard data was continuously used to guide the team throughout the development process.
iF: What about customer testing in the design process?
E.G.: It goes without saying, listening to and observing our customers is always our first step. It always starts with the understanding of the human condition. Developing products and solutions is at the crossroad of knowledge and experience. Somneo product design for example took years of research to perfect. We knew that the product’s form was critical in order for the user to experience the full benefit of the light. Light is only as good as the surface it refects onto after all. Throughout the years, and while designing previous wake up light generations, we discovered that a circular shape was preferred by our users because it reminded them of the sun and felt like a natural fit to their environment. The biggest and most fascinating innovation brought by the new Somneo model is the introduction of depth and dimension to the object.
All of our previous wake up light generations were essentially flat panels that felt too much like TVs or computer screens. Through relentless testing we discovered that adding the central “funnel” and opening through the lamp was not only breaking the perception of flatness but was also greatly contributing to the gradual build up of the light. Our users indicated that they felt they could almost touch the light and it wasn’t uncommon to see users caressing the soft, curved surfaces of the lamp. At Philips, we have the tradition to always work and integrate real life experiences in the product design and we feel that the Somneo design is adding an important experiencial element to light design. We wanted to achieve a light you could see, touch, and feel and the feedback we are getting from our users have been overwhelmingly positive.
TOBIAS GRAU, SONY AND OCCHIO
- HONORED WITH THE iF DESIGN AWARD 2019 GOLD
Salt & Pepper Lamp designed by Tobias Grau
CL-N810 by Sony, designed by Sony Corporation Creative Center Tokyo, Japan (Takahiro Tsuge)
Mito Largo Lamp by Occhio, designed by Axel Meise for Occhio Munich
Czech Glass Tradition from Brokis and Lucie Koldova to Lasvit
Tobias Grau's designs are popular for their clean and modern look. Yet, they have an ironic twist and playful interpretation of traditional lighting design patterns. The same is true for up and coming designers who rediscovered traditional craftmanship in their designs. Just as Bohemian glass manufacturing has a great reputation all around the world, it is not truly manifested on the barometers for lighting design trends. Companies like LASVIT and Brokis want to revive the young spirit of this rather forgotten craftmanship. Read below how!
Natural light in the living space is not just a question of the amount of red and blue light, of the right light bulbs or indirect lighting. The lamp housing design plays a crucial role, too, if you want to bring in a much more natural ambience in your living space.
Nature and its life-giving beauty and strength serve as the model for a new and unique lighting concept called IVY, designed by Lucie Koldova for Czech lamp design studio Brokis.
Just as the plant grows and climbs up the walls of a house, creating multiple images, IVY offers a special system of modular components, thanks to which it can be used to achieve a highly innovative take on decorative lighting in both vertical and horizontal compositions. The collection features three sizes in opal or smoke glass.
Variable, elegant, and precise in workmanship all the way down to the smallest detail, IVY is a high-tech lighting concept well suited to both commercial and residential applications. In intimate home settings, for example, a single elegant branch can be used, or multiple branches can be joined together to create a curtain of light. IVY has many forms and justly takes its place among artistic, so-called bespoke, lighting installations.
Traditional bohemian glass manufacturing is known for its great quality all around the world and is at home in five czech towns, from Jablonec to Novy Bor - headquarter of LASVIT. The brand LASVIT, founded in 2007 by Leon Jakimič, shows Bohemian glass in a new light and takes the art into the next millennium, combining the traditional authenticity of glass with creative craftsmanship and innovative ideas. In a few short years, LASVIT have established themselves as experts in delivering custom-made lighting sculptures and art installations made from various types of glass.
Collaborations with renowned designers and artists have created numerous unique glass collections – Nendo, Campana Brothers, Ross Lovegrove, Daniel Libeskind, Maarten Baas, or Czech legends Rene Roubíček and Bořek Šípek are among those who choose Lasvit to embody their vision. Even Lucie Kaldova once started her career at LASVIT.
Japanese Design Star
Hokuto Ando tells his principles of good lighting design
Hokuto Ando is iF Juror as well as designer and co-founder of we+, a contemporary design studio based in Tokyo. He develops his experimental approach to products, installations and graphics by combining unusual materials with technologies to shift perspectives. This is also part of his principles when asked about good lighting design. His studio realized many spectacular light installations, for example for showrooms of such brands as fashion designer Issey Myake. Listen and see what else Hokuto has to say in our iF Podcast, recorded at the iF Jury Session for the iF DESIGN AWARD 2019.
Interview with Ulrike Brandi
What makes good lighting
iF: You are a lighting specialist. What does that mean?
U.B.: I am a lighting designer with a focus on artificial lighting design in buildings and outdoors in urban spaces. I also develop master plans, such as for the city of Rotterdam or the HafenCity here in Hamburg. Another focus of my work is natural daylight, which is particularly close to my heart because it is our natural and most beautiful light source.
Luctra Lighting: Focus on Health and Individuality in the Workplace
Ergonomic and individual workplace design has long been recognized as a key advantage in the competition for maximum employee motivation and dedication, no matter whether the workplace is a flexible desk in an open-plan office, in a comfortable two-desk office or a modern open space. No wonder that light is a key factor in self-evaluation of a working environment.
A simple way to achieve this is by creating pleasant, healthy and standard-compliant lighting, made easy thanks to the state-of-the-art LED technology. As an added benefit, modern light solutions can also take the individual needs of each user into consideration.
The lamp range of the German company LUCTRA® () offers a wide variety of options to fulfill lighting needs for individual rooms. The TABLE and TABLE PRO table lamps can simulate the natural course of daylight if needed. The installed LEDs provide different colours of light and can support the user’s different work phases in this way. They can also be dimmed. For flexible office designs and agile teams, the app-based control saves individual light settings so that they can be re-applied at any other workplace that has LUCTRA®.
Besides the table lamps, LUCTRA® offers VITAWORK, a floor lamp that is suitable for distributing light evenly to entire offices thanks to the combination of direct and indirect lighting. The LEDs built into the lamp head provide energy-efficient illumination via a light panel with either symmetrical or asymmetrical light distribution. VITAWORK® is available with three different light flux intensities, depending on the size of the room, for optimal adjustment to the room size.
Lighting Design in the 21st Century
The upheaval triggered by the switch from incandescent to solid state sources (LEDs) and the increased sophistication of electronics are probably the most tangible catalysts for the continuing shift in the way we light our buildings and environment.
These technological developments have taken place against the background of a rising awareness of the importance of lighting itself – witness the extraordinary evolution of the independent lighting design profession in Europe, especially since the 1980s. That awareness has encompassed a range of issues.
Art and Light: iF awarded Designs by Sculptor and Artist E.R. Nele
Sculptor, graphic designer, goldsmith and artist E.R. (*1932) is famous for her giant public sculptures such as Die Rampe and has a strong connection to iF: Her father was Arnold Bode, the founder of the documenta exhibition in Kassel, and the designer the iF logo in 1962. In the 1960s and 1970s, E.R. Nele designed a number of award-winning lamps and lights for diverse German manufacturers. Click through the small selection of her works.
From an awarded Lamp to their own Design Studio:
A Talent Success Story with Aust & Amelung
For iF, promoting visionary concepts created by upcoming designers is a matter of heart. Every year, we honor outstanding designs created by students from all over the world with the iF DESIGN TALENT AWARD. We strongly believe in the potential of young designers to change and innovate. We want to find out: What became of our young talents?
Aust & Amelung
Miriam Aust and Sebastian Amelung received their iF awards for their final project in 2014, a floor lamp, and are busy as furniture, interior and exhibition designers for various companies and projects from their headquarter in Kassel, Germany. We asked them what motivated them back then, what happened since then and, of course: What became of their awarded lamp design?