Detective Note

Vol.014 – Lighting for Lighting Design Office


Interviewer: Shunichi Ikeda

Theme:Lighting for Lighting Design Office

Ikeda Today I`d like to discuss the lighting in a lighting design office.   I have always wondered about architects and interior designers who design their own offices based on their own style preferences.  I find it kind of interesting.    So, I was also wondering about a lighting designer`s office?  Is it a place to test elaborate lighting design methods?  If you don`t mind, I`d like to pick apart the LPA office.

When I first came to LPA I noticed that all of the lighting is a warm color temperature.  If it was a restaurant or place of leisure I would understand, but as an office not many places are  equipped with all warm color temperature lighting.  Also, the ceiling indirect lighting, non-glare desk lights, 2F studio lighting controls were all impressive and dramatic.  When you are designing office lighting, what things do you care about most?


Stuio  at party

Working Space  Task & ambient lighting with incandescent lamp color

Mende It is all a presentation for guests.  I want them to think, “Hey, I really liked that lighting style at LPA, so I`ll try to copy it.” I want to design lighting that makes guests think this.  This is the place to display our theories and logic.  What is good and what is bad.  And it is absolutely unacceptable if the light sources are directly visible.

Ikeda The 2F studio is used for visitor reception and meetings, but also interoffice staff meetings and discussions.  It really is a multi-use space to do almost anything, even light experiments.

Mende To really experiment with light, the room can be darkened, even during the day.  Also, a big screen can be pulled down and used to compare different light temperatures.  It is just like a experiment corner found in a lighting manufacture`s showroom.  Although, the studio is not a real experiment room for experiments of high caliber, but just a very flexible space.   It is not LPA`s specialty to do highly efficient and highly concentrated experiments.

Ikeda A lighting designer`s office or a manufacture`s showroom is their place to show off their work.  It should be particular.

Mende Yes, designers are a very particular bunch.  What do you think about the lighting in a lighting design office?

Ikeda I think there should be a purpose for each fixture or lighting method chosen.  For example, unified, overhead lighting, usually seen in a large office space is a no-no.   In limited space, the  lighting methods need to be creative and multipurpose. I feel really strongly that a multi-use office space should be programmed with lighting controls to easily switch from office hours to cocktail party to presentation.

Mende I always feel that if you see someone’s workplace you will know their true character.  Your workplace is a place to show off the quality of your product.  That is the reason why sometimes I show guests our really compact, but highly efficient work space at LPA.   The second floor studio is a big, laid back space that will grab your attention, but this is not the heart of LPA.  The third floor work space is where staff feel the pressure and work literally side-by-side in this compact little space.  I have no doubt, that those that I show this difference to will feel LPA is a sleek and energy-filled office.

Ikeda      Yes, the atmosphere is definitely different on the second and third floors!

Mende All that is left is the right light in the right place.   Circuits are dividing among several switches, because some lights, like the ceiling indirect lighting is not used during the summer months to save energy.   Although, someone said it was too dark and turned them back on.  What do you think?

Ikeda  While working, if the desktop is bright enough, I don’t think there is any problem.

Mende That’s not what I meant.   It is about the impression one gets when walking into the room for the first time.   Will they get the impression that this is a fun and innovative office?  Or will the energy-saving measures create a dark atmosphere and mood in the office?   Just a thought, but what lighting item do you think the office needs  or doesn`t need?

Ikeda  I don’t think there are any wastfull lights in the office and all the bases are covered.  So I don’t think there is a place to add new lighting, except maybe in the studio.  The big, sideboard style cabinet is very unique.  Maybe some lights around it to set it off more.

Mende Ah, Yes.  Maybe some playful light behind each cabinet door.  Or mirrors on the backside of each door.  Or some dodgy lighting for a party.   Making it more flexible might be a good idea.

Ikeda Ah, Yes.  Maybe some playful light behind each cabinet door.  Or mirrors on the backside of each door.  Or some dodgy lighting for a party.   Making it more flexible might be a good idea.