You know when you read something that's apparently completely unconnected to what you're working on, and then the light bulb in your head goes on and you say: "Hang on a minute!" That happened at the weekend, reading a piece by Oliver Burkeman (Guardian newspaper: 15th Nov) entitled "Don't Get Caught in The Monkey Trap."
And a lovely image by Paul Thurlby to accompany the article.
Burkeman was making the point that, in The Monkey Trap, the monkey is trapped not by anything physical, but by AN IDEA! The beast is trapped by its mindset and that is what's stopping it from letting go of the food in the coconut.
Meanwhile, I've been putting together a presentation for LUXLive on this coming Wednesday afternoon (19th Nov) at ExCel, London. The title of the talk is "Designing without Downlights" and its intended as a polemic on why downlighting should have become our default lighting solution, regardless of its relevance or how appropriate it may be to the circumstance.
I hadn't really appreciated how sensitive an issue this is until the organisers of LUXLive (thank you, Ray) posited the same question on LinkedIn. The conversation has gone on for over three months. But I now see, courtesy of Oliver Burkeman, to what extent Designing WITH Downlighting is a Monkey Trap. The design mindset doesn't see an alternative and the creative endeavour of producing a lighting design is smothered by the downlighting imperative.
Burkeman says that the way out of The Monkey Trap is to engage with the "Beginner's Mind" - a Zen concept that means having a truly open mind - not one blinkered by assumption and presumption. Its a bit of a heavy-duty concept to lay on an exhibition audience at 4 o'clock in the afternoon, though I feel a bit more comfortable writing about it here - possibly because its a technique that I've always tried to use (without realising that there's a serious philosophical principle behind it, I have to admit). Because when I first look at a project, I try to see the spaces - the relationships - the people. And I don't look at the ceiling.
Sometimes I worry that a lighting solution won't happen and the page will remain blank - fortunately, that's never happened (yet!)
I did promise access to the magic lantern show to all of them as asked at LUXLive yesterday - here t'is:
And if you'd like to download a PDF copy of the presentation, that's here as well.
To learn more about my lighting design philosophy and how I work, please click HERE!
A (very) basic guide to ethical specification
Lighting design: it's a client thing
Calculating obtrusive light: whose job is it?
When there's nothing in the catalogue
When is a chandelier not a pendant? When its a lantern!
When clients learn too much . . .
One of our details is missing
Where will light fittings come from?
The end of the light bulb?
Always something new . . . again
Always something new . . .
Combining old and new
On being in the dark . . .
Riffing The Internet of Things
John Bullock writes a regular column for lighting magazines. You can find all of the archived pieces here.
BLOGS - LIGHTING DESIGN
John Bullock writes about all things and anything concerning architectural lighting design; new technologies and old lamps; anything,really.
HOME LIGHTING CONSULTANT
John Bullock designs innovative lighting designs for people's homes. By working closely with clients he is able to deliver solutions that meet - and exceed - their expectations.
BLOGS - CPD RIBA CORE PROGRAMME 2015
John Bullock will be presenting a seminar on latest lighting design and technologies as part of the RIBA CPD Core programme 2015
BLOGS - SUSTAINABILITY
John Bullock believes that the UK lighting industry needs to embrace a sustainable way of delivering good quality product through good design, fabrication and end-of-life management.
BLOGS - LIGHTING HEALTH AND WELLBEING
Lighting has a vital role to play in our health and wellbeing.
CONDUIT (6) - Lighting for Winter Gardens
CONDUIT 5: Home Lighting - LED Lighting (2)
FX Magazine: Lighting Focus - Sustainability (Issue 258)
CONDUIT 4: Home Lighting - LED Lighting (1)
Can Smart Lighting Save The Planet?
CONDUIT 3: Home Lighting - The Bathroom
Can Lighting Save Us From Ourselves . . . NO!
CONDUIT 2: Home Lighting - The Dining Room