I must say, things haven't turned out like I thought they would. I'm not complaining, mind you; I'm just a bit bemused. When we created LD on Architecture, the idea was to come up with a magazine that had a separate identity from Lighting Dimensions, a magazine steeped in the more bizarre details of show business. (Look, if you must know how to light Cher, as she is lowered from above, wearing a giant fur coat, just turn to this month's issue of Lighting Dimensions.) As you can tell, we have striven to give LD on Architecture a look and a style all its own. It's certainly cleaner and, I think, a bit more tasteful.
What I didn't realize was how diverse our coverage might turn out to be. Look at this issue for example. There's Confluence, a bold lighting project in which a series of industrial silos form the canvas. There's the Roman Colosseum, a stunning piece of the past given a glorious makeover through light. There's even — can you believe it — a theatre, London's Apollo Victoria, a former movie palace gone legit, which has gotten a sumptuously colored and technically innovative interior lighting design.
We have a pair of museum stories, each of which has its quirks. Exploration Place makes use of dramatically soaring spaces, which is always a lighting designer's challenge. And, believe me, you've never experienced anything quite like the International Spy Museum, in which lighting is part of a plot to induce a feeling of suspicion and paranoia among the attendees. Our photo layout, featuring this year's Lumen Award winners, reveals a similar diversity — the projects range from a downtown New York restaurant to an American Indian casino to an entire line of cruise ships.
All of which goes to prove, I guess, that good lighting design is so central to our lives that there's really no place where it doesn't belong. Of course, the term “good lighting design” is very malleable; it can involve dramatic effects and saturated colors, but it can also mean clean, bright lighting that makes a room useful. Whatever it means, we have to have it. Something has happened to us — we're more aware of our surroundings, we demand a higher level of quality in our home, work, and leisure environments. But it does mean that we are all much more sensitized to how things look. And we demand more than we once did. The world of architectural lighting is infinitely complex, and we're determined to cover it all.
Of course, this means that, for architectural lighting designers, the challenges multiply on a daily basis. Each project raises new and more complex problems. But then, that's the fun part for a designer — who knows what you will be asked to light next?