Cultures & Light

Yesterday evening, I returned from a fantastic holiday in Israel and, like many other lighting designers, I now find myself rushing off to Frankfurt to visit Light + Building. Fortunately for me, Frankfurt is a train journey away, one that is long enough to have some time to reflect on whatever comes to mind, but not too long to become burdensome.

As can be expected, I’m recollecting the many marvellous lighting experiences I was lucky to have had during my holiday, but more importantly, I’m building up my own personal map of the world of architecture and light. This map exists only in my mind and is undoubtedly biased to what I’ve seen of the world. It expresses itself by reshaping borders, and disproportionally increasing areas that have had a greater impact on me, and decreasing areas that have had less or that I haven’t yet had the fortune to visit.

What is becoming obvious to me is that the fictional borders I’m creating with this map are based on my perceptions of world cultures. Needless is to say that there are large blank areas, such as Africa and Central and South America. This doesn’t worry me because, given enough time, I’m confident they’ll be filled in.

This visit to Israel has now given me the confidence to start to detail out the Middle East. However, I think it is important to say that visiting alone is not enough to build up this map. The exercise will require some research of cultural and architectural history, an understanding of current geopolitical affairs, and most importantly cross-referencing this knowledge with what I’ve actually witnessed.

The exercise will most likely take some months but it will be well worth the while and will naturally impact all other lighting impressions that the world has given me. Stay tuned to see how the map takes shape…

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