Contributions by two top designers provide some food for thought in this veritable smorgasbord of an issue, our largest ever.
First up is Patrick Dierson, who, on page 22, makes the surprising case for environmentally conscious design. I say surprising because, as Patrick himself notes, he's not exactly what most people would consider the poster boy for a green planet. I've seen his preference for motorized vehicles over the years, and let's just they make the term, “gas guzzler” seems too mild. And I should confess that, until I had kids, I probably wasn't the most environmentally conscious, either. But Patrick's work with Artfag, the EDDY Award-winning design team consisting of Justin Collie and Doug “Spike” Brant, has apparently shown him the light, and he offers us a variety of simple solutions that they have used on recent productions, tips that everyone in live production should employ for sustainability's sake. The most brilliant solution, I thought, was the donation of leftover plywood from a set to Habitat for Humanity, but even something as simple as the addition of a few recycle bins can make a difference.
Next up is Willie Williams, another EDDY winner who, of course, needs no introduction. I'm particularly excited to note that Willie has written up a “How I Did That” for us (page 58) on what was, for him, a rather unusual project: the exterior lighting of London's South Bank Centre. (I say excited because, in addition to his talents as a designer, Willie's a pretty bloody good writer, which, now that I think of it, should actually fill me with jealousy rather than excitement.) Aside from regaling us with colorful tales of installing the lighting in the nooks and crannies of the until recently rather derelict venue, the real news in Willie's piece is the revelation that he, along with artistic director Jude Kelly, have taken the first small steps toward the creation of a Light Lab under the auspices of the SBC. The project is still in it infancy — as Willie notes, it could become anything from a series of high-level symposiums to “a late-night bar/hangout spot where lighting persons can collaborate in plotting world domination.” Whatever its final incarnation, we here at Live Design find ourselves fascinated by the possibilities and have pledged our support-and that's not just because it might end up being a late-night bar/hangout spot. If you have an idea for the Light Lab you want to share with Willie, email email@example.com.