Josep Patsi heads up the design team at Spanish lighting company Leds-C4. He shares his design process, inspiration and vision for the future of lighting with Indesignlive.
June 28th, 2012
How did you come to be a lighting designer?
Since I was a child I felt a big passion for geometry and a combined interest in both art and geometry made me feel a big attraction for design. I honestly have to say that I have [had] no special studies and that personally I think there must be a kind of gene which we can’t control when we talk about creativity. Of course we need to continuously develop and improve it by learning from everything and everybody. Life is a rich and huge school.
Light is what gives life to objects. Light can provoke any kind of feeling to a living being. Light is something magical that makes everything change. So, who would not be attracted to lighting design?
How have your designs developed over the years? At what point are you now in your designs?
I started a long time ago as a designer of electrical appliances… It was a kind of design where the most important [aspect] was functionality and the way to find a balance between price and what you offered. Of course [aesthetics] were important but you couldn’t dream too much.
Leds-C4 gave me the chance more than 17 years ago to belong to their staff as a designer and it opened up for me a big colourful range of fields where I could draw out what I had inside.
At the beginning I placed [emphasis] on shape in making something different; maybe I had too many feelings to express. Step by step I started dipping into the lighting world and understanding it more and more. Then the form of my design became more simple and minimalist.
I’m still following this way. I try to combine simplicity with elegance even if it makes it more difficult. Simple and clean shapes and objects are the most difficult to solve technically. I think I’m now at a point of maturity in my design and understand much better the real needs of people at the end [of the process] who will or won’t appreciate it. I think that paradoxically the more experienced I get, the fresher my design becomes.
What excites you most about the future of lighting?
As well as being useful and decorative, lighting is [playing] a new role – to produce and provoke new sensations, new feelings in people’s lives. This is what most excites me about lighting design.
When I think about a new design I try to imagine the real situation of people in the atmosphere created by lighting effects that can provoke the feeling that they are looking for in any situation. Each light is considered for each place, depending on what emotion you want to feel at that moment at that place. This is a nice challenge: to provoke feelings by lighting.
Where do you see the direction of lighting going? What sort of things can we expect in 10 or 20 years that we can’t see now?
Everybody is worried about sustainability and energy saving. Lighting design will need to adapt to these solutions.
Now there’s [a move toward] LED but there will be more like O-LED or induction and who knows what else [in the future].
I believe that the format of light will change and will become more integrated with architecture. I think that wall, floor, pendant and ceiling lamps will become just decorative objects, maybe even obsolete objects.
Light will be one of the ways, as I said before, to create sensations. You will be able to choose the lighting you wish or need at that moment or the colour or the effects that make you feel good.
I think it will become one the most important parts of houses or buildings in the future. Can you imagine yourself sitting on your favourite sofa with your preferred drink looking through an imaginary window produced by lighting, or the whole ceiling or door, or floor full of light and colour with a projected image or video or just a lighting effect? Can you imagine changing it just by remote control or a voice detector and adapting it to the sensation you want to feel?
I even dare to say that 3D light could start to be not so far away… Dreaming is for free, of course.
Leds-C4 is distributed in Western Australia through HALO Lighting.
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