THE NATURE OF DESIGN
‘We hated Bauhaus. It was a bad time in architecture. They just didn’t have any talent.
All they had were rules. Even for knives and forks they created rules. Picasso would never
have accepted rules. The house is like a machine? No! The mechanical is ugly. The rule is
the worst thing. You just want to break it.’
You have to admire an architect that can dis Mies van der Rohe et al so broadly and
with such conviction. Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, atheist, communist, sensualist,
has been dubbed by one critic the master of modernist Baroque. His curvaceous
creations exploited the possibilities of concrete and the play of light and shadow on
their white surfaces. His inspiration sprung as much as anything from his surroundings.
He ‘deliberately disregarded the right angle and rationalist architecture,’ he said. ‘This
deliberate protest arose from the environment in which I lived, with its white beaches,
its huge mountains, its old baroque churches, and the beautiful suntanned women.’
That relationship with the natural environment also manifests itself in the work of Hiroshi
Sambuichi, one of the two laureates of this year’s Daylight Award (the other being Greg
Ward, creator of Radiance daylight simulation software). In Sambuichi’s case it is about
the natural landscape and what he describes as ‘moving materials’, including daylight,
sunlight and moonlight, of the specific site he is designing for. He is painstaking in his
research, experimenting with physical models on site for up to two years. The aim is to
minimise the environmental impact of his design and to ensure that it endures.
‘I want visitors to sit and to feel the energyscape that is woven throughout Mount Misen
and the Seto region – the wind, water, sun, moon and terrain,’ he says of his observatory
built on the top of Mount Misen. ‘It reminds you what really matters in this world.’
Jill Entwistle, Editor
15 COMMENT LIGHTING MAGAZINE
ING LIGH T ING
We are fastidious in our checking but clearly not fastidious enough. While Motoko Ishii
(Vol 50 Issue 3) pioneered lighting design in Japan, she was not, as stated, the first female
lighting designer in the world. That honour goes to Lesley Wheel (b1929), co-founder and
past president of the International Lighting Designers Association, who first practised lighting
design in 1957, co-founded the firm Wheel-Garon in 1961( later, in 1977, Wheel-Gertsztoff),
and who died in 2004. Our thanks to those who pointed this out and who showed from their
comments that she is still held in great affection and high regard.
Could readers also note that Grimshaw’s Plexal Innovation Centre, featured on the
Moodboard pages of Vol 50 Issue 03, should have credited the lighting designer who created
the triangle design, Cundall Light4.