How to design a light from the Design Museum
This is an inspirational and conceptual book rather than a practical study guide. It’s hard to tell if the book is intended for the coffee table or if it’s aimed at students of design. It seems to have everything in place but when I reached the end it left me wanting for more.
There are three main chapters “Principles”, “Process” and a case study.
Principles looks at Function, Diffusion, Direction, Spacial description, Emotion and Colour. Each section is filled with quality photographs of a wide range of lights to illustrate the principle. Different designers and classic light designs are covered.
Process on the other hand looks at lights through history, again covering many styles and designers. The evolution of lighting technology is also discussed from fires and tallow candles through to modern issues such as light pollution and energy efficiency.
The case study puts all this togehter and looks at Arnold Chan’s lighting of a restaurant. I particularly like how this is in interview form with Chan detailing the design concepts and issues but leaving the pictures till the end.
This book has inspired me to sketch out some light designs and think about existing lighting designs. I feel this book mostly covers it’s ambitious title but you would need to supplement it with further study into optics and materials or by experimenting with different models.