Mende's Detectives Note

Vol.083 – Green Office

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Because of the pandemic I have not set foot in another country since last February, 15 months ago. Up until then, I would freely go on two or three business trips a month. So, there is this dark feeling, a bit like imprisonment, creeping in…

Mende's Detectives Note

Vol.82 – Learning Lighting Design from Cinematography Part 2 “Tokyo Story”

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In the warm family picture painted by Yasujiro Ozu there are two types of natural light;  glaring, bright sunlight and the incandescent lamp, symbolic of a cozy family.  In the film, daytime scenes always seem very carefully calcu…

Mende's Detectives Note

Vol.81 – Learning Lighting Design from Cinematography Part 1 “Diva”

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I ran across a manuscript from a series published in Housing Magazine 25 years ago.  There was no magazine title or published date, but for the series titled “From Screen/ I want to copy this interior design!”  I used to analyze…

Mende's Detectives Note

Vol.80 – Alone in the New Office

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I started writing this column about 22 years ago.  Detective Note number 000 was released on August 9th, 1998.   Since then there have been blank periods with no posts, but today I am writing number 80.   I have reread bits and pieces of th…

Mende's Detectives Note

No.79 – At La boqueria Market

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This column was written on June 3, 2017 and recently found while I cleaned my PC. Barcelona`s La Rambla basks in the spring sunshine. It has been awhile, but I am just wondering today with limited cash, a credit card, and iPhone in my pocke…

Mende's Detectives Note

No.78 – Twilight and an Oil Lamp

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The cherry blossoms have fallen and scattered and the riverside before my eyes grows over in a mixture of shades of green. The smells of new green leaves and the scent of spring coming to an end rides on the breeze. It is a rare Sunday with…

Mende's Detectives Note

No.71 – Kasanji Hot Spring Fireworks Show

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There is a famous hot spring called Kasanji in Hamamatsu, Shizoka. By fate, I was invited to the Hotel Kokonoe, run by the Entetsu Group, to view the annual firework show the last weekend in July. The scene from the hotel is picturesque wit…

Mende's Detectives Note

No.70 – Official Visit to Meiji Shrine

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What God do I put my hands together for and pray to? Of course I’ve been to many shrines and temples, but also frequent many Christian churches and Muslim mosques while in foreign countries. I watch the worshipers there and pray as they pra…

Mende's Detectives Note

No.69 – Tama Art University Library

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Ever since the new library was finished I have wanted to go and see it, so 15 members of the Lighting Detectives gathered around dusk for the Tama Art U. campus version of a city walking tour. It is well known that the architect is Toyo Ito…

Mende's Detectives Note

No.68 – Meeting Important Friends by the Wayside

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Once every two years「Light & Building」, the world’s largest lighting trade fair, opens in Frankfurt and I always make a point of attending. This year was no different, as my fourth time to attend, along with five colligates from LPA; w…

Mende's Detectives Note

No.67 – AA School of Architecture Students

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It seems that there are quite a few people who are ruffled by the frequency, or rather infrequency, of the Lighting Detective Note. Since the start of the Lighting Detectives many of those that work close to me have pleaded and tried to per…

Mende's Detectives Note

No.66 – Ingo Maurer

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The first time I met Ingo Maurer was 20, maybe 25 years ago, I`m not quite certain, but I do remember that it was he who contacted me for a meeting. At that time I had ran a very successful essay, “ Poetic Sentiment and High Tech” in the ma…

Mende's Detectives Note

No.65 – Iwamuro Hot Spring Town Redevelopment Project

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Already it has been seven years since I started to teach in the Department of Scenography, Display, and Fashion Design at Musashino Art University. Of course, I am not only teaching my students about lighting design, but the third-year stud…

Mende's Detectives Note

No.64 – Zaha

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“Zaha”such a commanding name. You may have heard of this famous name belonging to one famous lady. My own name “Kaoru” has a more feminine ring to it and may be more fitting for a lady of such great accomplishment. M…

Mende's Detectives Note

No.63 – Thought I Might Design a Chandelier

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As an architectural lighting designer, I have always thought this profession was not about the form or shape of lighting fixtures, but have argued that lighting design is about the relationship between lighting and people. Japanese lighting…

Mende's Detectives Note

No.62 – Candle Night @ Omotesando Eco – Avenue

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This time each year I rely heavily on the Rain Gods not to forsake me. June 22nd, including summer and winter, I count this as the 7th time we have held the Candle Night Event and today’s weather forecast was rain. If it is just a sprinkle …

Mende's Detectives Note

No.61 – Staff Training Day

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This topic may not directly concern the Lighting Detectives, but here’s what is on my mind. As a lighting design office and having to compete within this growing profession, I’d like to tell you about our recent staff workshop. As the creat…

Mende's Detectives Note

No.60 – Workshop at the Equator

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I have to apologize for my absence, I just realized that I haven’t written a single note yet this year! I don’t know if I’m just lazy or too busy and time just flies, but three months of this year are already gone! My assistant is always sa…

Mende's Detectives Note

No.59 – Junction Lighting

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New things are happening along Singapore’s famous Orchard Road. A new season of lighting is being born. The Bidford Junction, near Takashimaya and Paragon, also the busiest along Orchard Road, became a scramble crossing once every 30 minute…

Mende's Detectives Note

No.58 – Omotesando akarium

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I invite you to take a little stroll through Harajuka and down Omotesando. For the holiday season, six-meter tall lanterns line the street and emit a soft Japanese light-like glow. The illumination along this particular street started in th…