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 V&A Contemporary: Brilliant : Lights and Lighting This volume introduces some of the most creative names in contemporary lighting, from Ron Arad to Karim Rashid, and focuses on experimental uses of light in the designed environment. Featuring heat-resistant fabrics, "cool" light sources, and new materials that pulse and glow without the need for wires, the book also presents lighting we can sit on, sleep under, and even wear.
  Date Published 3/23/2004

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Rated By: Ping Lim
From: Christchurch
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Comments: Tour-de-force
The book has less than 130 pages and despite its tiny size, it packs a punch. I find it to be a cerebral book written by an intellect who has a passion for lighting. Complemented by lights and lighting system from the past & present time (some of them iconoclastic), the author wrote an essay about what those things (lights and lighting system) represent to different people. No longer that light is simply there as an utility but it's an art on its own right. Then, there are lights that encompass fashion, textile, sculpture, theatre (Sharon Marston's). With advent of technology, it's foreseeable that light can be wearable in the future. Now, designers are endeavouring to design wearable light that is comfortable too (Ixilab from Japan, Karada Italia). There are lights that are done from sparse materials (from designers who are mindful about the plight of our environment and who endeavours not to design lights for lights' sake) (Boym Design Studio, Ingo Maurer, etc). Some designers incorporate lights into items such as a chair or a table because they emphasise the importance & significance of space but not highlighting the lights themselves (Horgen Glarus & N2). There are lights that remind us of the past, lights that are designed by touching upon memory (Philippe Starck); lights that stir our emotions (perhaps, for all the wrong reasons) such as Gitta Gschwendtner's lights comprising of hugging lamp, double vision lamp, corner lamp, up-the-wall lamp (give people's impression that the light is a living being & stalking the occupants of the house: sense of intimidation), Hector Serrano's A Lamp in the Swimming Pool (shade lamp but floating on water!: sense of humour), & the list goes on. Then, the author also questioned lights that are defined as rude for some due to social strata difference, generation gap, etc. Some companies are trying to redefine the meaning of lights and they lead the charge by commissioning various designers to come up with conceptual plans which are mind-blowing such as Swaroski's chandellier's project. I can keep on writing about this book but this shall be a book that you should read yourself. A book filled with many brilliant ideas, a book that would broaden your horizon regarding lights and a book that you would cherish very much. Highly recommended.