Howard Brandston, Founding Partner
There are three landmark moments that affected the architectural lighting profession: The first was the energy crisis. It changed the perspective of everyone working in lighting as to what responsible, good lighting was. It brought lighting into focus and encouraged the development of lighting’s portion of the energy code in Standard 90.1. Unfortunately, it also probably did more to promote mediocre lighting than any other development. The second was the formation of the IALD and ELDA, which brought an awareness to lighting that hadn’t been seen before. Finally, the NCQLP was also a significant step because it made people, and the government, realize that the designers they hire should have certain qualifications.
Mark Rea, Director
Lighting Research Center
Over the last 20 years, lighting has struggled to become its own profession, to become more than support for the professions of architecture and engineering. Specialized knowledge is at the core of any profession, and clearly lighting requires special technical training. But professionals should also exhibit wisdom, attained through the cornerstones of education and science. The lighting profession can only evolve through a commitment to understanding the physical and biological sciences. Experience is simply not enough.
The establishment of the Lighting Research Center in 1988 is one of many milestones in the growth of lighting as a profession over the past 20 years. This establishment is perhaps unique because of its commitment to establishing lighting as a legitimate field of intellectual inquiry, not just a derivative of architecture or engineering. As lighting becomes a field through education and science, lighting will, we believe, become a profession.
Craig DiLouie, Principal (and Former Editor and Publisher of A|L)
Given that this year is Architectural Lighting’s 20th Anniversary, it’s only suitable to notice that the magazine’s launch by Charles Linn in 1986 was undeniably a landmark moment in the architectural lighting profession. The magazine helped recognize the leadership and value of the profession, and contributed to its values and development. In addition, it provided a forum for lighting designers, architects, manufacturers, and other professionals to connect about lighting that is driven by quality, performance, aesthetics, and architectural integration.
Paul Gregory, President and Principal Designer
The Empire State building paved the way in 1977 with its manually color-changing exterior lighting displays by Douglas Leigh. It took 4 people approximately a half a day to change the colors which made it both expensive and limited it to (at most) a once a day occurrence. The Entel Tower in Santiago, Chile, [designed by Focus Lighting] was the first automated color-changing exterior lighting display in the world and the first building to have an automatic color-change at night. The 40-story tower opened in October 1994 and has been gaining praise for its innovative lighting design ever since, winning the Waterbury Award of Excellence in Lighting Design from the IESNA in 1995.
The lighting system at the base of the Entel Tower illuminates the bottom 80 meters of the tower and can change to any one of 30 colors in half a second, with each side of the tower able to be all one color or a blend of up to five different colors at the same time. The total wattage for the entire lighting system is 300,000 watts. The computer control system was the most advanced of its kind, is totally automated, and can change the lighting to a different “show” each night unattended.
Graham Phoenix, Principal (IALD President 2006-2007)
A landmark moment in the development of the architectural lighting profession was the formation of the IALD in 1969. The association recently celebrated its 35th anniversary and is moving forward, this year, looking at the issue of international growth and placing a greater emphasis on achieving and preserving feasible energy codes. The association is becoming more forward thinking in its approach and cognizant of public policy affecting the lighting business. I think that, without the IALD, the profession would not have achieved the stage of development it has, both within North America and internationally.
Leni Schwendinger, Lighting Designer
Key developments include: The acceptance of hybrid approaches and roles and the cross-fertilization between disciplines such as film, media, and architecture • The elevation of our profession: IALD’s “Why Hire a Lighting Designer,” ELDA’s multilevel workshops in tandem with urban-planning conferences, and this year’s IES Centennial Community Projects • The Parsons lighting design program: future lighting designers will have an expanded purview, as lighting artists are surfacing • International lighting strategies: muni?ipalities all over the world have begun to value and shape the urban night • And finally, the best use of lighting for 2005: AntWorks Space Age Ant Habitat, combining wildlife and lighting indoors for study.
Martin Moeck, Assistant Professor
Pennsylvania State University
Positive landmarks: The fluorescent lamp • The development of the lighting design profession and the IALD • The LEED Green Building Rating System • Raytracing software for lighting simulations • Combined lighting, heating, and cooling simulations for the determination of total energy performance • California’s Title 24 • Relighting of the Statue of Liberty by Howard Brandston in 1987 • The architecture of Guarino Guarini and Bernini, who used daylight as a design tool.
Negative landmarks: The NCQLP Lighting Certification exam (anybody can pass this exam and erode the lighting design profession by offering “lighting-certified” designs) • The unaltered use of the incandescent lamp • No progress in daylight systems development and applications • The use of the word “sustainability” (electric lighting is not sustainable unless it is produced by alternative energy sources) • The invention of lighting terminology that is misleading, such as “color-rendering indices” and “correlated color temperature” • Lighting terminology that cannot be defined, such as “lighting quality” • The use of inefficient colored light sources (if architects need color, they can paint architectural surfaces instead) • No agreement on lighting effects such as sparkle • No complete computer-based vision models that explain how people see • A significant erosion of support for funded lighting research and the reduction in the number of lighting scientists • More lighting research done by other societies such as ASHRAE, the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and the International Society for Optical Engineering (SPIE) • Financial support for schools that have no lighting education tradition • Lighting controls that do not work well with total building management • The decoupling of lighting from building services engineering.
Sonny Sonnenfeld, President
Creative Studio Design
One of the most important moments was when the architectural lighting design community realized that lighting design was truly a “profession” and should be organized as such. They then formed the IALD.