Less is More: Old but New Ideas for Lighting Design Expressed in a Cross Strait Conference

The 20th Cross Strait Conference on Lighting Technology and Marketing organized by Taiwan Lighting Fixture Export Association (TLFEA) and China Illuminating Engineering Society (CIES) was held in Taipei, Taiwan on November 26th and 27th . On the afternoon of 26th Nov., the conference was divided into two chambers to discuss lighting technology and lighting application respectively. Most of the designers shared one common idea on lighting application and design issues: less is more.

As customers are getting more captious, lighting designers and lamp manufacturers have to rethink their strategies according to some basic concepts such as environment, feeling and interaction. It is impossible for people living in modern society to escape from artificial light, therefore, how to build a good lighting environment is an issue that required consideration.

Lighting related industries keep improving. Increased in awareness of sustainability has lead to people seeking more energy efficient lighting products which prompts further progression in the industry. Lighting concepts, especially in China, seem to be about “lighting it all up”, in other words illuminating a space in its entirety. However, Xiong Ke Cang, the General Manager of Roled Opto Co., said during the conference that innovative products can only gain better value through innovative design idea, and we can also merge light with art through the idea “less is more.”

Xiong Ke Cang is giving speech on the conference.

Chen Yi-De from Fuzhou University is a designer as well as one of the speakers. He indicated that Chinese people tend to illuminate every corner yet this is not exactly an adequate idea toward lighting design. “Less is more,” he said. “Transition from shadow to illumination is the most attractive thing we can create by artificial light.”

The first step for lighting design is “what’s the most proper lighting condition for this space / architecture,” not just for the sake of illuminating. Some speakers shared their projects and experiences to convey their opinions on lighting design. Wang Gang is the General Manager of Grand Light in Shanghai, he introduced his lighting project “Shanghai Jessfield Park Subway Station and Building Complex” and expressed the complicated and comprehensive remote-controlled LED lighting system. “We worked with architects closely when we were designing,” said Wang. “collaboration between lighting designers and architects’ helped us achieved this goal.”

The main aim of light, pointed out by Chu Xingwu from Shanghai Chu Xingwu Lighting Design Inc., is to fulfill people’s needs rather than providing circumstance bright surrounding. “I regard lighting design as an art,” said Chu. In his speech “Drive the Light,” he expressed his respect for masters in lighting design and the crucial idea for lighting: comfortable lighting environment. Besides, Chen Yi-De indicated another aspect which is also important to consider from an architectural perspective. He concluded: “We have to respect and express the feature of the architecture instead of adding our design on it.” Of course, we must be careful when we install wires and lamps to the building that we do not cause any damage.

In this conference, it’s obvious that many lighting designers turn to care more about the real role light plays in our lives and the “Less is More” rule becomes the new golden rule. Applying adequate light requires reliable lighting fixtures, architectural cooperation and a good lighting sense. It is a task building on the foundation of technological and artistic ideas.

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