Boutique Design - July/August 2017 - 27
Three top-tier lighting designers offer illuminating
insights into how they help switch on memorable
INTERVIEWS BY MAT THEW HALL
GLARE dRAWS THE IRE of illuminationworks' Chad Rains. "It detracts
from the soothing feel that many hospitality settings seek to engender,"
says Rains, founder and creative director of the London-based firm.
For Focus Lighting's Brett Andersen, it's too-low lighting levels, especially in restaurants. "When it's hard for guests to read the menu or see
their date's face, it takes away from the experience," says Andersen, principal designer and a two decades-plus veteran of New York-based Focus.
And for AWA Lighting Designers' Abhay Wadhwa, it's illumination
schemes that don't reflect an understanding of local culture and context,
thereby creating a disconnect with guests. "Every culture has a distinct
relationship with light. As the hospitality industry increasingly crosses
geographic boundaries, lighting designers need to have a greater understanding of such cultural drivers," says Wadhwa, design principal and
ceo of Brooklyn, New York's AWA.
Given all that can go wrong with illuminating installations in hospitality settings, Boutique Design conducted a Q+A with this trio of
experts, seeking to shed some light on the specific role firms like theirs
play in helping such projects avoid gaffes like these, while also attaining
that holy grail of creating sensory-driven, mood-matching experiences
that bring people back for more.
COURTESY OF 21C MUSEUM HOTEL S
LET'S START WITH EACH OF YOU WALKING US THROUGH THE
DETAILS OF ONE (OR SEVERAL) OF YOUR RECENT PROJECTS.
A selection of projects spanning the globe.
ANDERSEN: At the new Beauty & Essex restaurant in Las Vegas,
Focus used architectural and decorative lighting to give guests the sense
that they're dining inside a highly curated jewelry box. The transition
from what appears to be a storefront pawn shop to a restaurant where
guests are enveloped in a world of gold, pearl and crystal, creates a
completely immersive experience.
WADHWA: I'd like to offer up quick descriptors of two favorites of
mine for AWA, both in Mumbai: For the Blue Frog restaurant, we created
a filigree pattern of lighting nodes that's resulted in the taking of countless selfies and social-media posts; for tote, a restaurant/bar/banquet
destination, we used fractal design concepts to craft lighting patterns in
july + august 2017 boutiquedesign.com