In some ways, the most interesting item in our BizWire section this month is one of the smaller entries. (It has appeared on our website, www.lightingdimensions.com.) Martin Professional has signed an agreement of cooperation with Louis Poulsen Lighting to sell Martin's architectural line in Sweden, Denmark, and Norway.
On the face of it, the story is nothing special, just another distribution agreement of a geographically limited nature. But it shows just how much our world is changing. Martin, one of the premier entertainment lighting companies in the world, is making an agreement with a straightforward, meat-and-potatoes architectural lighting manufacturer. Ten years ago, would you have predicted such a thing? How about five years ago? Or three?
Everywhere you look, it's the same story. Vari-Lite, the great-granddaddy of moving light companies, is now owned by Genlyte. So is ET/Entertainment Technology, which was previously part of Rosco. Altman Lighting once was strictly entertainment lighting — now it's finding new success in the architecture market. More and more, entertainment and architectural lighting people are getting together, making matches, teaming up to find the next big thing.
Really, it only makes sense; the nature of architectural lighting is being transformed by the entertainment orientation of our culture. Call it what you want — themed design, architainment — whatever, the demand is growing for architectural lighting with an entertainment flair. That means colors, patterns, movement, and more. It also means a fundamental shift is taking place in the industry. It's hard to know where it will all lead. We'll be keeping our eyes open to see what happens next.
On another note, people have been asking me for years why Lighting Dimensions doesn't run reviews of shows. Some of them recall the dear departed days of Lee Watson's Broadway roundups, which ran in the 1970s. It is true that, collectively, we see an enormous number of plays, films, concerts, operas, and special events in any given year and we often have strong opinions. It's also true that, in the pages of LD, we focus on design and technology only.
However, we have begun running reviews on our website. Each Friday, we publish a column called Seen & Heard, in which editorial staff weigh in on the events they've seen that week. They're pretty frank (in fact, I've been yelled at several times by designers who, shall we say, disagreed with my point of view). Anyway, it's pretty lively and worth looking at. Take and look and let us know what you think.