“All sunshine makes a desert”
There’s no need to explain this old adage, very popular among people living close to the desert. But its value is far larger than that.
Think about how the right quantity and quality of light provides dramatic effect for stage plays which highlight scenes of the story. Or if you prefer TV series, imagine how different gathering would be at the Night’s Watch if Jon Snow would not constantly be divided between light and shadow. Drama, from the Greek word meaning “action”, needs designers to think about rooms and areas as if they were stages where stories happen. Light is a necessary element to create settings for people, stories and emotions and whoever deals with light has the privilege and responsibility to act like a cinematographer would do. So, let’s start from an empty space and check some of the options.
Conversation at the exhibition.
By placing low power lighting fixtures with a narrow beam on both sides of the ceiling, light creates a contrast between walls, lit by a repetition of patterns, and the shady centre of the room. Here, we invite people to have relaxed conversations at the centre, maybe while drinking cocktails and admiring ancient artefacts on the sides, a collection that took a lifetime for the host to complete.
What about you?
But what if we want to create a scenario where people are invited to divide into smaller groups and have individual chats about lifestyle, business or personal development? We can use the same type of fixtures and place them in such a way that light emphasis is still on lateral walls but there’s a delicate accent on the central path. The overall result is a fluid repetition of light and shadow that promotes exchange and casual encounters.
Let’s get together.
In case we want a more theatrical scene, it is possible to use a limited number of fixtures, place them in the centre and create a completely different scenario. It’s about inviting and welcoming everyone in a very close area, where a circular path is meant to foster relaxed participation. Whatever happens on the lateral walls is of no concern for the people enjoying one each other.
Some distance is necessary.
If a more dramatic effect is necessary, if space needsm to be divided in two different zones with an evident and functional contrast, lights can be positioned in a limited number of spots. The interpretation of space and its hierarchy are a consequence of contrast between lit and shady areas. A completely different story is happening in this room and it’s about separation, whether of people, activities or objects.
Let me entertain you!
Why not trying to create a real stage, the ideal setting where to tell a story, introduce someone, invite to action or talk about memories. Light guides attention to the central area, lateral walls outline space and the back is for contrast. A screen is no longer necessary, no cable or internet connection are required: it’s life on stage.
What do you think about my story?
Want to be theatrical and immersive at the same time? Want to involve the audience and make the story collaborative, is the narrative something everybody needs to give its contribution to? The setting in this case promotes the central area with the back wall that helps creating a silhouette. Lateral walls do not simply outline the space, they literally come to life.
Yes, and you?
When action is a dialogue between two areas, lighting fixtures must create a connection more than highlight a zone. Ideal size, power and beam angles defines a bridge between lateral walls across a softly lit central area. There’s no priority, one side is not better than the other: this way the dialogue can go back and forth as long as necessary.
To go, or not to go.
There are moments and areas that have a special function: they serve the purpose to help the mind wander on higher thoughts, take important decisions or simply get lost in compelling readings. It’s a borderline territory, where things are never black or white, where it’s not a matter of right or wrong. It’s a story about possibilities and trade-offs. Asymmetrical use of light results in shady areas and relax zones, helping the mind dive into thoughts and getting out with resolution.
Those are just some of the endless combinations available to transform a place. Can we help with more? Leave a comment or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.