Ellie Coombs is our Roving Reporter!
The first thing to strike me as I approach the Business Design Centre is the absence of the ACDC bus that has become synonymous with many lighting industry events. Many a good night has been spent aboard by the lighting fraternity, too good a night apparently and so, after what Gareth Franklind, CEO of ACDC described as “last year’s alcohol ban fiasco”, ACDC is not exhibiting this year. However, they are up for the new Arc Show Innovation Awards with the new Azeta range of technical, dimmable, recessed geared LED downlights – one to watch at the awards tomorrow I think.
On entering the exhibition the show looks like it’s in full swing and the place is packed out with stands. One stand in particular catches my attention – Toshiba. It’s not particularly large or ostentatious, as you might expect from a company who only entered the European lighting market two years ago and has stated that it aims to corner 20% of the LED market by 2012, but with Philips and Osram absent this year, I can’t help wondering if this is a glimpse of the future? While on the subject of LED lamp manufacturers, Megaman definitely has one of the most colorful and eye-catching stands this year packed with childhood memories, including a Dalek – you can’t get much cooler than that!
With Light + Building just round the corner there is no getting away from the fact that a lot of exhibitors have been saving the pennies for stands in Frankfurt. However Aquila, with the help of Sarah Adams, has definitely made its mark with a piece of light art being created live during the course of the show – engaging and beautiful, I can’t wait to see the finished piece.
Another artwork must see is the mondo*arc’s inspirations gallery by Light Collective. This showcases 11 designers and what inspires, shapes and forms the work they do. If the lighting work ever dries up these guys could definitely have a second line in graphic design and marketing!
As evening approaches the show fills up with lighting designers and the drinks start flowing. As already mentioned, it’s a Light and Build year so product launches are few and far between but one stand not holding back on showing us what the future holds is Brunel University.
Innovative designs produced by the University’s Product and Industrial Design students have been on show all day. The students are finalists in the LED Architectural Lighting Challenge sponsored by Remote Controlled Lighting Ltd. It was a pleasure browsing as each student had identified a real issue and addressed it with good design. Simple but effective summed up many of the designs – very refreshing to see. But, now it’s time to find out the winner, and this year the judges found the standard to be so high they decided to award two first places. So, in no particular order, the winners are: George Killaspy with Polarescent and Alexander Dawood with Arclite – congratulations to them both.
As the show winds down, I head out to Islington Green to see Light Stick Graffiti – a series of installation pieces by students from the Bartlett UCL and Rose Bruford College. From the ‘man on the bench’ to the ‘hop-scotch’ and the ‘little girl blowing bubbles’, the installations are full of fun and have transformed the park for passers-by.
From the park, it’s just a hop, skip and a jump to the final destination of the evening – the Alliance Lighting Party….I think it’s going to be a late one!