LIGHTING: AN EVOLUTION
Identity|November 2020
American painter Mark Rothko took immense satisfaction in the distinction between night and day. His innate love of contrasts is clear in his art, but also in his vision of the Rothko Chapel, located in Houston, Texas. In today’s pandemic-driven era, we can relate to Rothko’s positivity, and his tireless insistence that where there is darkness, there will always be light.
ESRA LEMMENS

Rothko’s work has moved between dark and light and connects deeply with our observations and understanding of spirituality and the journeys that we experience. Or perhaps his art of seeing is so profound that to thoroughly understand his vision, we require a sensory form of intelligence. Human-centric lighting and environmental lighting are two of today's most significant movements. Lighting designers are embracing environmental change and listening to the needs of nature – and the nurture needed to move into a brighter future.

Evolved resolve

The lighting at the Rothko Chapel was never quite right; Rothko felt that it was poles apart from the light coming through the dirty windowpanes of his beloved New York studio. The Houston light was much stronger and brighter. Architecture Research Office (ARO)’s restoration changed the entire lighting experience, beginning outside with darkened pave stones at the entrance of the plaza, which reduced any glare and prepared the eye for the innermost sanctum of the space. The chapel's lighting design by George Sexton Associates includes the installation of a new skylight that bathes 14 of the painter’s black but slightly colourhued canvases in an ephermeral glow, using special glass and clever louvres that soften the intensity of the Texan sunlight. George Sexton Associates set digital lighting projectors into a nook around the skylight that bounce-focuses light onto the paintings with the use of intelligently placed mirrors. The placement alteration of the triptych avoids unnecessary shadows across the paintings, mimicking the lighting in Rothko's studio.

Carefully considered human centric lighting (HCL) affords beneficial physiological and psychological effects. HCL possesses biological and dynamic properties that can support human health, performance and overall wellbeing through intelligent, holistic planning and implementation.

According to Global Market Insights, the Human Centric Lighting Market size surpassed USD 1.25 billion in 2018 and is poised to grow at a CAGR of over 25% until 2025. The increasing popularity of new lighting technologies and activities related to the replacement of harmful conventional lights is supporting market growth. Research has also shown that controllable lighting further creates growth opportunities in the human-centric lighting market.

Designers today are producing new ideas, from industrial and sculptural movements to the most delicate ethereal and celestial designs, that also call for a sensory form of intelligence, quality of perception and an alternative way of thinking. They are paving the way and are positively glowing with new developments including combinations of resin and neon, the reinvention of heavy concrete, shellfish waste, laser-cut plastic and leather.

Family affair

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM IDENTITYView All

Handcrafted gems

Finance professional-turned-designer Shima Samaei is behind the heritage-inspired brand Chapter-101, whose pieces bring together the evocative beauty of the Middle East region

2 mins read
Identity
December 2020

Uniting design

Founded by London-based interior designers Sophie Ashby of Studio Ashby and Alex Dauley of Dauley Design, United in Design is a charitable organisation set up to address the lack of diversity within the design field. Aidan Imanova speaks to the founders to find out more.

4 mins read
Identity
December 2020

All around the world

NextSpace, founded by Laurence Dehlen, aims to introduce the Middle East market to a myriad of brands from across the globe

3 mins read
Identity
December 2020

Exploring identity

Three Kuwait-based designers investigate the potential of a local design identity by merging existing regional and borrowed elements in an exhibition showcased at 1971 - Design Space in Sharjah

3 mins read
Identity
December 2020

Dubai Design Week

While many of the world’s design events went virtual this year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the fifth iteration of Dubai Design Week – a festival that has quickly become one of the most sought-after events on the arts calendar in the Emirates – presented a combination of physical exhibitions and outdoor installations, bringing together international works and regional talent in addition to an online showcase of brands and talks, making the event accessible to a global audience.

10+ mins read
Identity
December 2020

Products

This month’s products include wish list items that will make perfect gifts this festive season. From beautifully sculptural storage pieces to home fragrances, there is something here for everyone.

3 mins read
Identity
December 2020

Preserving the past

‘A Thobe Story’ features 10 unique garments embroidered by Palestinian refugee women that recall missing memories

2 mins read
Identity
December 2020

MONUMENTAL MASS

Sahel Al Hiyari’s Barghouti House softly integrates into the landscape while remaining impressively monolithic

6 mins read
Identity
December 2020

DESIGN FOCUS: OUTDOOR FURNITURE

DESIGN FOCUS: OUTDOOR FURNITURE

6 mins read
Identity
December 2020

A Sharjah icon

The recent restoration of Sharjah’s iconic Flying Saucer returns the Brutalist landmark to its former glory – and investigates its past in the process

6 mins read
Identity
December 2020
RELATED STORIES

An aftermarket miter gauge with brains, brawn, and beauty

JessEm Mite-R-Excel II Miter Gauge

2 mins read
Woodcraft Magazine
February - March 2021

Pretty in INK

Jessica Carter crushed the competition to take home top honors

6 mins read
Maxim
January - February 2021

ROSWELL UFO CRASH: TRUTH AFTER 74 YEARS

Military investigator’s newly discovered diary blows lid off cover-up

2 mins read
Globe
January 11, 2021

FEELING YOUNG!

WITH HIS NEW ALBUM, JESSE COLIN YOUNG GOES FROM PAST TO PRESENT AND BACK AGAIN.

7 mins read
GOLDMINE
February 2021

MARK BLANCHARD

TATTOO ARTIST

10 mins read
Skin Art
Issue 175

Jessica Lockard

Third Dimension Tattoos

5 mins read
Skin Art
Issue 175

MENDING THEIR RIFT?

LEFT REELING BY A SCANDAL, MEGHAN MARKLE’S FORMER BFF GETS A SECOND CHANCE.

2 mins read
Star
December 14, 2020

STEVE MARTIN'S WILD & CRAZY BUYING BINGES!

Bored funnyman can’t seem to stop shopping online

1 min read
Globe
December 14, 2020

A Walk in the Woods

“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God.” —Anne Frank

3 mins read
Transformation Magazine
December 2020

HERO FOR A DAY

A Special (Needs) Day at Trail Hero 2020

2 mins read
4LOW Offroad Magazine
December/January 2021