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Lighting Planners Associates on Light, Technology and Nature

Nearly three decades of lighting design practice and research inform Lighting Planners Associates’ robust approach to the possibilities of lighting for architecture and beyond. Always, a sense of the natural prevails.

Lighting Planners Associates on Light, Technology and Nature

Yusuke Hattori (Managing Director, left), Kaoru Mende (centre, Principal) and Reiko Kasai (right, Managing Director) at LPA's Singapore studio in Neil Road. Photo by Justin Loh / Shining Head Media

“No matter how much lighting technology develops, we will never forget the beauty of fire and sunlight.” Yusuke Hattori, Associate Director at Lighting Planners Associates (LPA), shares the mantra of this leading Tokyo-, Singapore- and Hong Kong-based lighting design studio.

“We foresee that the interaction or interface with light will change, and light will become more personalised,” adds Managing Director Reiko Kasai. She continues, “Light could itself become a material, with the latest wearable technology. But in the end our goal is to pursue a comfortable relationship with light, and we feel most comfortable in natural light, which is not static. That is why we like fire and sunlight.”

With potentially disruptive advances in technology continually looming, LPA – a forerunner in the lighting design industry – anticipates that the interactions of humans with their spaces will be transformed. Lighting, expects LPA, will become intelligent, encoding data from its environment into useful information. It will also become more convenient. Users with special needs will be able to control their environments more easily. And lighting will become more ambient. In future homes, light fittings that have always been positioned on the ceiling might be dissolved into wall finishes and luminous materials.

Perhaps most pertinently, lighting will become better at simulating the calming gradations and movement of natural light, unlike the static nature of much of today’s artificial lighting. To LPA, the basal human fascination with the beauty of natural light is something that will remain unchanged. “We hope that technology can also create that kind of space with artificial light. We always remind ourselves, in everything, to learn from nature,” notes Kasai.

Founded in Japan by Kaoru Mende (Principal) in 1990, LPA is considered to be a pioneer of the architectural lighting practice in the Asia Pacific region. The studio set up an office in Singapore ten years later, and has since branched into Hong Kong to oversee multiple projects in China. TLPA’s wide-ranging portfolio of almost 700 projects over a span of 25 years includes luminary collaborations with Toyo Ito, Tadao Ando, Rafael Vinoly and Kazuyo Sejima, as well as many prominent projects such as Gardens by the Bay, the Victoria Concert Hall, the National Gallery Singapore, Sendai Mediatheque, Minna no Mori, Aman Tokyo, Tower of Winds and Tokyo International Forum.

Read the complete article in Cubes 87, out now!



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