Latest Articles in Lighting Design

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Lisa Heschong, a California architect with the Heschong Mahone Group, which specializes in research on building performance, doesn’t think much of firelight: “The use of fire for lighting, while romantic, is extraordinarily inefficient, energy intensive, and potentially polluting. Indoor combustion is one of the main sources of indoor air pollution, especially in the third world.” Cities like Sacramento, California, even limit wood-burning fireplaces to keep skies clearer. “In our climate,” Heschong explains, ”the presence of smoke in the winter increases the prevalence of soot, thereby reducing daylight.”
April 11, 2012
use of fire and energy in the home

Fire in the Home 101

Taming fire was humankind’s first and most critical step toward its mastery of the material world. About 400,000 years ago, our ancestors learned to harness the flame, setting us on the course that would lead from the stone hearths those early humans built to the modern high-efficiency catalytic woodstoves we use today. More important, though, was the capacity to selectively apply heat, a transformative power that allows us to turn dirt into metal, cold into warmth, dark into light.
April 11, 2012
modern energy-saving sculptural lighting products

Light Flight

April 4, 2012
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DesignMarch Iceland 2012

For the fourth year in a row, product designers, architects, artists, and fashionistas opened their studio doors across Reykjavik, Iceland, for DesignMarch, a four-day roaming festival of art, design, crafts, whale foreskin cowboy boots, and late night parties soaked in birch-flavored schnapps. This year's event, held from March 22–25, attracted an estimated 35,000 people (about a tenth of the country's total population) and offered a frost-covered window into the burgeoning, wildly energetic—and sometimes wildly weird—design scene of the most northern capital on Earth.
March 27, 2012
Cerno Making-Of Video

Cerno's Making-Of Videos

Cerno, a young Laguna Beach, California-based company that creates LED lighting and, more recently, furniture, has taken a very 21st-century approach to branding and marketing, hiring a producer to create custom videos that spotlight their work and company story. The company was founded in 2009 by three best friends, Nick Sheridan, Bret Englander, and Dan Wacholder, who were interested in creating pieces that would last, were produced locally (very locally, in their own workshops), and that would explore the design potential of LED technology.
March 16, 2012
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Seven from Stockholm Design Week

It's about mid-way through the 2012 Stockholm Design Week and I've been traveling to studios, showrooms, and the show floor of the Furniture and Light Fair to seek out what's new in Scandinavian Design. There were plenty of wonderful things out there—far too many to even begin to think about a comprehensive roundup—but in the following slideshow, I share seven of my favorites in lighting, furniture, textiles, and accessories.
February 7, 2012

Best of Paris: 2012 Maison & Objet

Maison & Objet, the annual winter design show in Paris, ended last week, and it's taken seven whole days to catch our collective breath and clean off our camera's memory card. The immeubles shown at Maison sweep across eight airplane-hangar-sized buildings in a convention center north of the ciy, and include everything in the world of "déco," from wallpaper to candlesticks to armoires. And like any influential design fair worth its salt, the conversion of editors and retailers inspires some equally incredible satellite events throughout Paris. Especially notable were the young designers presenting at Meet My Project and offsite events by Emeco and Rockwell Group. Here are some notes from the exhibition floors at Maison, with some city snapshots for good measure.
February 1, 2012
Hallway interior with red cord ceiling light

Lighting Up

A dim Toronto Tudor gets an airy new look, thanks to a top-level remodel and some bright ideas.
January 25, 2012
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Flos Shop in San Francisco DZINE Showroom

Flos, the Italian lighting company that collaborates with many of the best designers working today, opened a San Francisco "store"—a shop within the cavernous DZINE design showroom. I was fortunate to visit the space on opening day, when Flos CEO and Chairman Piero Gandini and designer Ron Gilad were present, and I had the chance to sit down and talk with them about Flos's new retail approach and the company's latest designs.
January 9, 2012