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Feeding Lighting Design Curiosity with a Huge Spoon

Sharing the world of lighting design with audiences around the world, allows the opportunity to present the ordinary through a totally different lens.

No one wants to hear tired lighting sermons or listen to chest-beating projects of self-indulgence.

It is time to get real, it is time for us all to be honest with ourselves.

Whilst we can all learn from the past to change the future, we can also learn from the mundane and the everyday topics and experiences we take for granted.

Michael Grubb Studio have been touring festivals and conferences during 2018 with the importance of making sense of the familiar. These are the elements we all take for granted within the lighting industry.

Making Sense, Sharing with Others

Here are some of the themes that are being shared from the team.

Let us start with Stuart Alexander, our Associate, who presented ‘For The Love Of Cables’ to a packed room at London Design Festival’s DARC Room during September. Stay with us, you read that sentence right, Stuart gave a talk about cables!

Stuart’s presentation highlighted the production of new wireless technologies in architectural lighting. He questioned whether they are succeeding in replacing the modest cable, that we all take for granted.

A 2018 buzzword is ‘connectivity’ but the cable is an integral and vital piece of how society has been shaped. Connection does not have to be complicated. As Stuart said, “All data runs through cables, it’s the glue of humanity.” Our interconnected lives can be so much better.

Stuart presented what he has learnt from others within the industry, his own experiences and a simple guide for what he, as a lighting designer, always looks for.

By sharing to a full room highlighted the hunger and interest to return to the very basics of our industry. 

During this summer, Michael Grubb, our Creative Director, headed to Sao Paulo, Brazil to talk about building a brand with light.

This followed on from a talk in Dubai where Michael was asked to present ‘the modern-day lighting designer.’ The focus recognised that to understand the future, we need to analyse the past.

This followed on from a talk in Dubai where Michael was asked to present ‘the modern-day lighting designer.’ The focus recognised that to understand the future, we need to analyse the past.

This leads us to Greta Smetoniute, our Project Designer and Matt Waugh, our Senior Lighting Designer, who are about to travel to PLDC (Professional Lighting Design Convention) in Singapore. The topic for their presentation is ‘what if your spotlight had a fitbit?’

Greta and Matt will share what it is that makes a spotlight fitting, and in turn a project, environmentally mindful?

There is not enough open conversation related to the production of spotlight fittings, the embedded components and their embodied energies. So, by working with manufacturers from within our community, Greta and Matt have dissembled wasted spotlights to review and track their components. The objective is to learn what it means to produce a sustainable spotlight.

Michael will also be joining Greta and Matt in Singapore. He continues his global presentations with a focus on a wider business owner message. At PLDC he will share the transition from a lighting designer to a proprietor.

Michael’s talk ‘From designer to owner: a journey into unexpected terrain’ is the story of Michael Grubb Studio throughout the company’s first five years.

This showcases the lessons learned when building a practice that now works on projects across the globe. When it comes to presenting a perspective, if you draw on experience, you have to be open enough to share the tough times as well as the success. Award accolades are for one night only, honesty in presentation is something we all have to strive for.

Conclude this world of lighting design

Yoda said, “You must unlearn what you have learned. You will know good from bad when you are calm, at peace, and passive.” Michael Grubb Studio stand by that.

The talks that we are sharing with a global audience may not look at face value, the most dynamic themes. To some people it may seem mundane. A talk on the love of cables? A talk on tracking lighting components? However, it is taking the normality of the world and making sense of it all that allows us all to move forward.

We recognise that we are in a privileged position within the lighting industry. For that we are thankful. However, we also understand that we cannot take everything for granted and assume that we know everything about the industry or the everyday topics we practice.

We must be relentless in asking questions, only then can we keep finding better answers.