A Different Light

It’s true; we take for granted what we have in abundance. Light is plentiful and powerful, gives us sight, and one of the basic subsets of design that is often disregarded by almost everyone.
Which is why the Lightouch Design Competition 2007, organized by the DesignSingapore Council and Italian lighting company FLOS, is back in its second year after its inaugural event in 2003, to encourage professional and aspiring lighting designers to create lighting works that are practical, adaptable, yet imaginative. The first installment attracted 69 entries from countries like Asia, Europe, Australia and the US. Don’t fret if you are a total newbie to the scene, as the competition is open to anyone who is interested in design, or has a brilliant concept to share.
“Design competitions are the best way to freely share ideas,” say previous winners Stephanie Forsythe and Todd MacAllen from Canada, who won for their creative and adaptable translucent piece with a honeycomb structure design (see box). “The Lightouch competition is in the best spirit of open design competitions because the brief is so open to imaginative interpretation.”
Maurizio Mussati, director of international operations of FLOS, agrees. “Lightouch is a quest for a creative and interactive live-work-play environment that is shaped by a unique non-intrusive lighting system,” he says. “It is about using light for its full spectrum of qualities, and less about lamps as technology.”
But more than just a lighting competition, Lightouch also aims to highlight the importance of lighting concepts in everyday living, and is one of the more concerted efforts by DesignSingapore Council to bring the ideals of design closer to Singaporeans.
“Light is everywhere, a sensory experience that encapsulates both physical and emotional nuances,” says Moses Wong, Director of Temasek Design School, Temasek Polytechnic, and one of the judges in Lightouch. “Think the neon green laser beams in clubs, as opposed to the dim, soft lighting of a jazz lounge. Lighting design can put us in the mood to shake those hips or just melt into a comfy armchair.”
Indeed, considering all the different permutations of light (from oil lamps to laser beams, from ceiling lights to decorative desk lamps), lighting design and technology have come a long way. And with the Lightouch Design Competition 2007, things are only going to get more exciting and illuminating.
Winning Lightouch design