From Chief Kaoru Mende

Activities for 2024

Kaoru Mende (Chief of the Lighting Detectives)

Kaoru Mende
Lighting Designer

He was born in Tokyo in 1950, earned a bachelor and master degree from Tokyo University of the Arts in the field of industrial and environmental design. In 1990, he founded Lighting Planners Associates Inc. The scope of his design and planning activities ranges widely from residential and architectural lighting design to urban and environmental lighting.

The awards He has received include the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) International Illuminating Design Award of Distinction, Illuminating Engineering Institute of Japan (IEIJ) Japan Lighting Award, Japan Culture Design Award, Mainichi Design Award, and others.
He is a visiting professor of lighting design at Musashino Art University and a part-time lecturer at Tokyo University, Tokyo University of Art, and other institutions.
He is a member of the following associations, Architectural Institute of Japan (AIJ), Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES), International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD), and Japan Design Committee (JDC).
Books He has authored include, “Light, Light / Do you enjoy lighting?” (Tokyo Shoseki), “A Manner in Architectural Lighting Design” (TOTO Publishing), “Transnational Lighting Detectives” (Kajima Publishing), “LIGHTING DESIGN for Urban Environments and Architecture” (Rikuyosya), “Designing with Shadow” (Rikuyosya), “LPA 1990-2015, Tide of Architectural Lighting Design” (Rikuyosha), and many other.

Looking Back on 2023 and Looking Forward to 2024

After three years of patience due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, in 2023 we, the Lighting Detectives, were finally able to resume our city walks and domestic and international lighting surveys.
We, who believe in actual fieldwork and practical activities, not virtual ones, realized for the first time in a long time the importance and fun of physical activities.

The second session of “Kaoru MENDE/Lighting Design School,” which we started in 2022, was held over three consecutive weekends in September.
This year again, the number of student applicants far exceeded the capacity, and motivated students from all over Japan participated in the workshop. We were able to sense the high level of interest and expectation of the students toward lighting design. We are planning to brush up the contents of this lighting design school and continue to plan it every year.

In 2024, we plan to conduct the following six types of activities

1  City Walks and Salons

City walks and salons are the foundation of our activities.  We intend to expand the scope of our city walks in Kansai and Kanto, which we resumed last year, and to make use of online salon presentations.

2   National and International Lighting Surveys and Vising Tanteidan Activity

We will continue to conduct lighting surveys in Japan and abroad to accumulate data. We also intend to actively give lectures and workshops for “traveling lighting detectives” in response to requests from local cities.

3   Children`s Workshop

The event will include a darkness experience, a sunken hearth lighting experience, lantern making, a city night walk Detective, and experiments with light-up ninjas.

4  Utilization of the Lighting Detective`s Website, Facebook and  Instagram accounts, and Plans for Publication

Since the launch of Facebook and Instagram, as well as the website, we have received access from many people, which has brought us closer to our members in Japan and abroad. We will continue to make use of this.

5  “Kaoru MENDE/Lighting Design Workshop

The third student workshop will be held over three days (September 20-22). We will cultivate the passion of fresh students interested in lighting design.]

6  YouTube streaming of Lighting Detectives Lounge Talks

Our Cheif, Mende and his friends will enjoy a casual discussion on Lighting Design with drinks in hand.
Enjoy the Tanteidan’s YouTube streaming in the comfort of your home with your family.

January, 2024

Chief of the Lighting Detectives
Kaoru Mende