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Lighting: The Latest Architecture and News

Instagram Is Changing How We Design Spaces (And Creating Incredibly Lucrative Businesses)

“This place is really Instagrammable, you’ll see what I mean.”

Walking into a tiled entryway and catching a glimpse of the cocoon-shaped swings, I saw fast. Planta, located on a busy street in Downtown Toronto is an Instagram magnet. And they know it. Opened last fall, Planta’s geotagged posts grow daily, with several of the restaurants’ key spaces photographed again and again. With jungle-inspired wallpaper, graphic tiling and a solid 14k following on their own account, the plant-based eatery means business.

Instagram’s parent-company Facebook announced it made $9.1 billion in earnings this quarter on advertising, retaining its longstanding rule over digital advertising alongside with Google’s Alphabet ($26 billion). With Instagram absorbing competitor Snapchat’s story features and increasing the number of sponsored posts it shows this year (yeah, we noticed), it’s not a stretch to say that the social media giant sits at the center of food and beverage trends. But what happens to interior spaces when restaurants set out to be “Instagrammable”?

How New Technologies Are Turning Awkward Elevator Rides into a Thing of the Past

Elevator rides may offer an uplifting experience in the literal sense, but while they are indispensable in modern buildings, users face extremely compact spaces which are designed to fit effectively into buildings. Awkward looks at the floor or past other people’s faces reveal our discomfort with the elevator’s crowded anonymity. Couldn’t a more spatial experience lead to a more exciting journey? Flat screens and projections are starting to be included in elevators, but these are just the beginning of a revolution in the atmospheres created during vertical transportation.

Lift with dynamic light show at the A'DAM Tower, Amsterdam. Designed by InventDesign, photography by Dennis Bouman. Image © InventDesignLift with dynamic light show at the A'DAM Tower, Amsterdam. Designed by InventDesign, photography by Dennis Bouman. Image © InventDesignIlluminated elevator shaft at the Atomium in Brussels, Belgium. Designed by André Waterkeyn and architects André and Jean Polak. Image © Thomas SchielkeIlluminated elevator shaft with artwork at Chelsea Day School, New York. Artwork by Kenji Hirata. Image © GION+ 12

Japanese Craftsmanship Gets an Update in These OLED Patterned Tiles

Japanese designer Michiru Tanaka has released a new product partnering with lighting manufacturer Kaneka to create a stainless steel tile that doubles as both an OLED and a mirror. A graduate of Tokyo’s Musashino Art University, Tanaka pursued a career in architectural lighting and her projects range from commercial installations, lighting at museums as well as product design. Coined “Kumiko,” the tiles come from a fusion of inspirations, ranging from traditional Japanese architecture and woodworking techniques to Manhattan’s gridded cityscape.

© Fresh Jones© Fresh Jones© Fresh Jones© Fresh Jones+ 14

How Zurich's Understated Night Lighting Strategy Enhances Local Identity

While many cities strive for a spectacular appearance at night, Zurich follows a modest strategy for nocturnal illumination. Numerous urban centers in the world are oversaturated in the evening, with individual buildings calling for attention through bright light, harsh contrasts, or colorful façade lighting. In contrast, the Zurich master plan for lighting has focused on an overall image of sensitive light levels with white light. But this nocturnal presence far from simple design, and is instead based on detailed urban studies and precise, customized projections, where technology is discretely hidden in favor of authentic culture.

Waterfront illumination of Stadthausquai with Fraumünster Church and St. Peter Church, Zürich. Photo by Benno Tobler. Image © Stadt ZürichLighting of Stadthausquai with Fraumünster Church and St. Peter. Photo by Juliet Haller. Image © Stadt ZürichFaçade lighting with projection at Zurich Opera House at Sechseläutenplatz. Photo by Juliet Haller. Image © Stadt ZürichNight view of Rudolf Brun Bridge. Photo by Georg Aerni. Image © Stadt Zürich+ 12

Night Time is the Right Time

The Built Environment Trust along with the Mayor of London are seeking ideas that could help cities work better at night. Built environment professionals and the public are encouraged to show policy makers and developers how we might think differently by entering Night Time is the Right Time ideas competition. £2,000 in prize money is on offer and the best entries will be featured in a major exhibition. Amy Lamé, the new Night Czar for London is amongst the high profile judging panel.

Fluid Luminosity: The Architectural Lighting of Zaha Hadid

Leeza SOHO, construction 2017, Beijing / China. Image © MIR
Leeza SOHO, construction 2017, Beijing / China. Image © MIR

Zaha Hadid's projects are remarkable not only for her innovative way of handling tangible materials but also for her imagination regarding the medium of light. Her theories of fragmentation and fluidity are now well-known design techniques which enabled her form-finding. However, her advances in using light to render her architecture have often been neglected—even though they became an essential element in revealing and interpreting her architecture. The three-decade transition from minimal light lines at her early Vitra Fire Station to the world's tallest atrium at the Leeza SOHO skyscraper, which collects an abundance of daylight, shows the remarkable development of Zaha Hadid’s luminous legacy.

Heydar Aliyev Center, 2013, Baku / Azerbaijan. Image © Hélène BinetNordpark Railway Station, 2007, Innsbruck / Austria. Image © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hungerburgbahn-Bergstation.JPG'>Wikimedia user Hafelekar</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 3.0</a>MAXXI Museum, 2009, Rome / Italy. Image © Iwan BaanPhaeno Science Center, 2005, Wolfsburg / Germany. Image © Werner Huthmacher+ 13

Workshop: Light in Action (2 AIA CEU)

Techniques, technologies, construction, controls: master it all during the free LIGHT IN ACTION, a fast-paced, one-day lighting education, hosted by Edison Price Lighting.

Layers and Lighting: How Top Architects Design Fashion Stores to Turn Heads by Day and Night

Flagship stores excite both fashion shoppers and designers alike due to their role as visionary laboratories for the latest trends and stimulating retail experiences. Architects have developed various ways to dress haute couture stores, from distinctive icons in the day to seductive night-time images. The images accompanying this article, created by the Portuguese architect and illustrator André Chiote, help to explore the graphic potential of famous brands like Dior, Prada and Tod's. The illustrations clearly reveal the various techniques of playing with diaphanous layers, intimate views inside or the contrast of light and shadow.

Veiled in Brilliance: How Reflective Facades Have Changed Modern Architecture

Even as modernism promoted the transparency of glass architecture, many within the movement were conscious of the monotony of large glass facades, with even Mies van der Rohe using elements such as his trademark mullions to break up his facades. But in the years since, countless uniform structural glazing skyscrapers have emerged and bored urban citizens. In response to this, unconventional reinterpretations of facades have gained interest.

Accompanied by the belief that light and brilliance could help in creating iconic architecture and a better human world, glass and metal have been innovatively transformed to create crystalline images. As a result, the locus of meaning in architecture has shifted from the internal space-form towards the external surface.

When Droplets Create Space: A Look at Liquid Architecture

Throughout the past century, architecture's relationship with water has developed along a variety of different paths. With his “Fallingwater” house, for example, the American master Frank Lloyd Wright confronted the dramatic flow of water with strong horizontal lines to heighten the experience of nature. Since then, architecture's use of water has become more varied and complex. A space made almost purely of water emerged with Isamu Noguchi's design at the Osaka World Expo: glistening water appeared to fall from nowhere and glowed in the dark. Later with digitalization and fluid forms as design parameters, the focus shifted towards liquid architecture made of water and light. The interpretations have ranged from architectural forms modeled after literal drops of water, like Bernhard Franken´s visionary “Bubble” for BMW, to spectacular walk-in installations made of lines of water, transformed into pixels by light.

Icelandic Pavilion. Hannover, Expo 2000. Image © Thomas SchielkeBlur Building. Exposition Pavilion: Swiss Expo, Yverdon-Les-Bains, 2002. Architects: Diller Scofidio + Renfro. Image © Diller Scofidio + RenfroOlafur Eliasson: The reflective corridor, Draft to stop the free fall, 2002. (Der reflektierende Korridor, Entwurf zum Stoppen des freien Falls, 2002). Photographer: Werner J. Hannappel. Courtesy of Centre for International Light Art Unna, Germany. Image © 2002 Olafur EliassonLuce Tempo Luogo, 2011. Milano. Architects: DGT Architects. Photographer: Daici Ano. Image © DGT Architects+ 20

From Productivism to Scenography: The Relighting of Norman Foster's Hongkong and Shanghai Bank

Three decades ago the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank (HSBC) Headquarters by Norman Foster emerged onto the architectural seen as an exemplary product of industrial design. The open layout with its exposed steel structure generated a powerful corporate identity for the bank. But the restrained atmosphere of white architectural lighting and the lack of distinctive façade lighting has lost its attractiveness after sunset. Now the colorful and dynamic relighting presents a remarkable example of how an architectural icon has shifted from a productivist ideology towards a scenographic image. To the western observer the multicolored light language may give off a playful impression, but to the local culture the transformation evokes grandiosity.

Hongkong and Shanghai Bank Headquarters, Hong Kong, in 2015. Architects: Foster + Partners. Photographer: Simon McCartney. Image © illumination PhysicsHongkong and Shanghai Bank Headquarters, Hong Kong, 1986. Architects: Foster + Partners. Lighting design: Claude and Danielle Engle Lighting. Photographer: Ian Lambot. Image © ERCO, www.erco.comHongkong and Shanghai Bank Headquarters, Hong Kong, in 1986. Architects: Foster + Partners. Lighting design: Claude and Danielle Engle Lighting. Photographer: Ian Lambot. Image © ERCO, www.erco.comHongkong and Shanghai Bank Headquarters, Hong Kong, in 2015. Architects: Foster + Partners. Photographer: Simon McCartney. Image © illumination Physics+ 12

Jeffrey Jacobs Architectural Photography & Lighting Workshop

In this three-day in-depth workshop, internationally acclaimed architectural photographer Jeffrey Jacobs will share extensive details of how he lights and captures the architectural images that have garnered recognition worldwide. This workshop will be a mix of hands-on and classroom instruction. Learn the gear. Learn the software. Then join the Jacobs crew to participate in a full-on production shoot after the sun sets.

Media Architecture Biennale 2016


From June 1st - 4th, design and urban planning experts from around the globe will transform The Concourse, on Sydney’s North Shore into a digital media technology hub, for the 5th international Media Architecture Biennale 2016. Architectural and design professionals, academics, state and federal government representatives and specialised experts in digital placemaking will host a series of workshops, symposia and events designed to explore the existing and future impact of digital technologies on urban planning within global cities.

Toyo Ito Designs New Mayuhana Lamp for Yamagiwa

Yamagiwa has just released a new version of Toyo Ito's popular Mayuhana lamp - Mayuhana Ma Black. "Ma," meaning "true" or "genuine," represents the new lamps darker color that is, as the company describes, "more deep and profound."

"Mayuhana Ma Black is light in darkness. It is the quintessential quality of light found in Japan that reminds me of ‘In Praise of Shadows’ by Junichiro Tanizaki," says Toyo Ito.

Frozen Architecture: From Glistening Snow Shows to Multi-Colored Ice Festivals

Winter is the perfect time to build structures with ice, a time and a technique that together offer the possibility of a pure white architecture. With a cloudy sky the condition culminates into an impressive whiteout: white architecture, the landscape and the sky dissolve into a diffuse unity without a visible horizon. If clear skies emerge a subtle contrast of warm and cool white appears with yellowish sunrays against the blue sky. However, the ice itself has striking effects as well: The surface appearance ranges from crystal clear glass to soft opaque impressions. And, for the long nights, illumination achieves an additional magical glow and extends the short daylight time.

Worldwide, snow shows, ice hotels and festivals have attracted numerous visitors with glistening snows and stunning lighting solutions. Futhermore, this frozen water strategy presents a sustainable solution par excellence, where the manufacturing and even disposal causes no harm to the environment. Read on to explore the coolest projects and events featuring architects and artists from Finland to China.

Art Suite 2016. Under the Arctic Skin by Rob Harding & Timsam Harding. Image © Icehotel, Asaf Kliger. www.icehotel.comIcehotel 25 by Anja Kilian, Sebastian Andreas Scheller, Wolfgang-A. Lüchow. Image © Icehotel, Paulina Holmgren. www.icehotel.comOblong Voidspace - Jene Highstein & Steven Holl. The Snow Show, Lapland, 2003 and 2004. Image Courtesy of Fung Collaboratives, Photo Credit: Menne StenrosIce Time Tunnel - Tatsuo Miyajima & Tadao Ando. The Snow Show, Lapland, 2003 and 2004. Image Courtesy of Fung Collaboratives, Photo Credit: Jeff DeBany+ 7

Connected Lighting: From Ethernet to Li-Fi Internet

How will our buildings change when your mobile device can receive huge amounts of data flowing from the luminaires above you? Not only has LED brought us a highly efficient light source, but a promising instrument for visible light communication (VLC) as well. Therefore light will not only be a medium to support vision, but it will also be an essential means of data communication. With the low energy consumption of LED one can even set up luminaires without mains cables for the power and just install Ethernet cables. Welcome to the world of digital lighting.

Brut Deluxe Lights up the Streets of Geneva with LUX.LGE Installation

Brut Deluxe has created a colorful light installation, made up of 48 chandelier-like pieces that dangle above Geneva’s Rue du Mont Blanc for the 2015 Geneva LUX light festival. The project continues on Brut Deluxe’s extensive work with ephemeral installations and their study of spatial qualities through light.

Miguel de Guzmán and Rocío Romero, from the photography studio Imagen Subliminal, have shared with us their images and video of the installation.

Learn more and view more images after the break.

© Imagen Subliminal (Miguel de Guzmán / Rocío Romero)© Imagen Subliminal (Miguel de Guzmán / Rocío Romero)© Imagen Subliminal (Miguel de Guzmán / Rocío Romero)© Imagen Subliminal (Miguel de Guzmán / Rocío Romero)+ 16

Call for Entries: Edition 02: Lightius Loci - Spirit of Light

Community Lighting for the Urban Environment has set itself the goal of encouraging and challenging young designers such as students (University & Colleges) and emerging Professionals (<5 years in their profession) to develop innovative lighting concepts for interior and exterior spaces, stimulate challenging ideas and recognize the individuals creating those ideas.