Light is space. It is not just a technical element for seeing. Primarily it creates the perception of an environment, with specific dimensions and materials, of space and perspective. Light acts within an environment according to the day. Certain surfaces disappear, others appear, colours change from morning to night, heavy materials become light. Just look at how often and by how many architects natural light has been used as the tool to interpret the architecture. The space within cathedrals is designed by light.
What do you associate the term illumination with?
Illumination is the companion to our lives. When we read, write, study, travel, cook, love, hate, enjoy, suffer, we are always accompanied by lighting. Technical lamps define the rooms we live in from a purely functional point of view. Decorative lamps enrich rooms with shapes and materials that convey memories and emotions. Throughout human history, various forms of illumination have been used. In the 21st century, the term lighting is associated with energy saving, which is a major topic of our times when talking about how to solve the climate and environmental problems. Lamps must be “green”, made with recyclable materials and for low consumption, or even be independently run on solar panels.
Tell us, how much and in what form does light influence your life/ideas/emotions?
Light has a huge influence on my life as it does on everyone’s life. When evening comes and you touch your lamp to continue writing, you always unconsciously think about which lamp you have chosen for your desk and how it is part of your life. It is therefore the shapes and materials of lamps that influence how we perceive lighting. Their design affects the emotions we perceive from the house we live in. When I was a child, I lived with crystal chandeliers in the middle of the ceiling that gave indifferent and general lighting to the room. Everything was uniform. Now I use Japanese floor lamps in my house which provide an indirect light with a warm atmosphere in certain parts of the room. These tell stories, those early ones described nothing. Lamps describe different things depending on how they are designed.
How much does light or the metaphor of illumination influence your profession as an architect?
It is one of the main points for any architecture. When we are working on a project, we always call in lighting designer friends to help us define the lighting design of our spaces. We describe the project to them, its interpretation and what we want to say, and they help us define the right technical equipment to translate our architectural messages into light. Light is not just a technicality, it needed to bring a project to life in a specific way rather than another.