Intelligence + Innovation + Influence = An Incandescent Post!
It feels to me as if the world is filled with an increase in intelligence and innovation these days, and I am always searching for those smart stories highlighting visionary initiatives that will make our world a better, more connected place to live. On this #TravelTuesday, looking at the mix of posts gathered here, it is incredible to realize how the internet puts far-flung stories at our fingertips with the ease of a Google search.
I came across this intriguing post on Lighting.com, one of Global Lighting’s Twitter pals, and offered an earlier teaser on the Global Lighting blog because I felt it conveyed a very important subject. Several of our peers also joined in the discussion: James Bedell’s thoughtful blog added some perspective and the Blaze blog, hosted by Columbia Lighting and Alera Lighting, also followed suit. The point the opening makes—that the lighting professionals who will enrich our industry 18-20 years from now are just starting primary school this year—is brilliant. The author, Barrie Wilde of MBW Lighting and The Light Studio in the UK, has made lighting and education a central passion in his career and has participated in many discussions on this topic close to his heart. See his biography on the Lighting Design Awards site: he’s one of the judges for the 2013 LDA’s, which will be given out in London, England, on March 27th (Italian manufacturer iGuzzini is amongst the shortlisted nominees).
As the above image, courtesy of TechFest, illustrates, children respond differently in the dark than adults do. Be sure to read the original post that inspired me to highlight this effort, as supporting the talents for future lighting designers and engineers in childhood is an essential effort to the health of our industry, one of the core values in fact. These young people will be the influencers of the future if we expose them to innovation today.
Speaking of innovation, one of my favorite publications to read on the subject is Fast Company (and their online blog Co.Design). This past October issue contained an article “Why Good Design is Finally a Bottom Line Investment,” written by Cliff Kuang, which I thought was perfect to share with all of you who follow the Global Lighting blog. The entire section, titled “Good Design is Good Business,” is well written, beginning with a quote by Thomas Watson, Jr., who told Wharton students in 1973 that good design is indeed good business. Kuang wrote, “To many people, design still meant the superficial polish of nicer homes and cleaner graphics. But Watson had earned the right to his beliefs. The recently retired IBM CEO was a business oracle…”
To bolster his claim, Kuang explained the CEO had transformed the company from having cash registers as signature products to mainframes. He pointed to Watson’s hiring of Eliot Noyes to design IBM’s Manhattan headquarters, which became synonymous with the rise of modernism; and Paul Rand, who created the company’s logo. Rand is amongst my personal design heroes, as is clear in this blog post about him and his work for giants like IBM and Apple. Take a look at the original post to see the futuristic lighting products—the Switch75 Lightbulb by Switch Lighting and the Plumen by Hulger Design and Samuel Wilkinson—that were tapped for the magazine’s “Innovation By Design” awards last year. The technological advances in lighting are proven by these products—one a CFL and the other an LED with its own liquid-cooling system, as is a more ecological slant to the manufacturing process. Science is moving toward the speed of light!
One of my most engaging posts features some of our lighting colleagues who are publishing informative blogs: One of our partners, Lumens Light + Living in Sacramento, publishes The Light Stuff; Edmonton’s Lightform has an active blog exploring design exploration titled Lightformblog; across the pond in England Light Collective publishes a blog hosted by the UK’s Lighting Magazine; and we had so admired Canada’s Faraday Lighting’s blog, dubbed Lighthouse, that seems to have since ceased production. Take a look at my original post to see what LEDs Magazine had to say about the mid-March launch of the Global Lighting Association (GLA).
On our own blog, one of the most engaging efforts we’ve undertaken has been the Blogger’s Choice series. The design, travel and lifestyle blogs published by the interior designers, kitchen & bath designers, tastemakers, design visionaries, social media heavyweights, and architects are remarkable resources for design inspiration. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many of them during Tweetups or other social media gatherings and I’ve gained great respect for them as they set design trends on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Instacanvas, Pinterest and on their own blogs. I thought I’d point you in the direction of a few of our posts. Here are all of our designer profiles and the products they chose to feature from Global Lighting’s offerings in one spot.
Richard Rabel’s blog is aptly titled The Modern Sybarite. The designer and art consultant is well traveled, crisscrossing the globe from Mexico City to Hong Kong and Paris to Buenos Aires. He had a decade-long career as a Senior Director and Specialist at Christie’s auction house, and he chose two fixtures from our collections—the Icon A ADA, one of LZF lamps wall fixtures, and a Tree Series T table lamp by B.lux. He says of the Tree, “It can easily sit on any style of entrance table whether a George II, a Chinese Huanghuali or a studio-designed concrete table. It’s that versatile,” proving once again he knows the cutting-edge trends when he sees them.
Former contender on HGTV’s “Design Star,” Tyler Wisler chose the Maxi Mirror PL, citing it is “Plain sexy,” The design show alum also participated in Housing Works’ Design on a Dime, one of NYC’s premier philanthropic design events. I have to admit the philanthropy emerging designers like Tyler dedicate themselves to is one of the reasons I love New York so much! LZF’s Sioux in ruby red was the surprising choice of The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, who is one of Europe’s savviest style-setters. I’ve toured French flea markets with the Diva so I know firsthand how insightful and knowledgeable she is about antique furniture and furnishings. I thought her reason for choosing the Sioux was delightful so take a moment to read my interview.
Kathy Sandler, blogger extraordinaire who shares her inspirations on Live the Fine Life, brought a disco beat to Blogger’s choice with her pick LZF’s Spiro pendant. The go-getter with a BFA in Interior Design from O’More College of Design and owner of Sandler Design Group pontificates on Twitter at @livethefinelife, shares images on Instagram at livethefinelife and InstaCanvas at instacanv.as/livethefinelife. “Sexy little Spaniard, isn’t it?” she asks, “Designed by Remedios Simón for LZF, I would hang a cluster of 10 or 12, in a combination of both sizes, dressing up a chic hotel lobby or I would scatter several of them around the restaurant of the moment. It comes in several different finishes, including orange,” which Kathy points out is a nod to Pantone’s Color of the Year. With a flourish, she adds, “I know I’ve drawn a few too many lumens here, so as a self-proclaimed Associate Pastor of the Church of Save Energy and Create Atmosphere, aka Rheostat Rain Man, I’ll quote the late, great Donna Summer, “Dim all the lights, sweet darling, ’cause the night is on its way.”
Hold the salt! On her blog dezignlicious, Gail Shields Miller chose another Herranz fixture, the Margarita. The esteemed designer says, “I am already a BIG Global Lighting fan, but I am particularly in love with the lights LZF makes out of color-dyed wood. They are unique contemporary lighting fixtures, which make any room sparkle and shine with a big touch of whimsy and sophistication. One of my particular favorites is the Margarita, shaped like a flower with big oversized petals made of thin sheets of wood. I could see this light hanging in so many places: over a breakfast table, in the middle of a kitchen, hanging over a card table in a den, in a girl’s bedroom, in a country house, in a beach house…should I go on?” Anyone looking for residential lighting would likely answer yes; lucky for them, she does in the original post!
Pierre-Christian Frye, principal of PCDF Architecture, chose the Mikado family of lights, which includes a kicky floor lamp. He waxes poetic about the design, writing, “I chose the Mikado family of lamps because the collection is light, airy and dynamic, and there’s a fluidity and lightness that give the fixtures the appearance of dandelions in a breeze or snowflakes swirling on a frosty night. They truly embody a minimalist spirit—one that is honest and pure of form—while also being sleek.” Michelle Cortizo, who heads up Cortizo Interiors, blogs on Decortizo. The Massachusetts-based designer chose Miguel Herranz’s Mini Mikado S, another LZF pendant fixture, saying it is “a well-crafted visual dance layered in texture” that “makes Mikado hard to ignore.” I must say I agree!
Live The Life You Dream About is the inspiring blog by Sarah Sarna, who chose Jacco Maris’ Montone pendant, a balletic study in stainless steel. “The beauty of this pendant is that it will make as much of a sophisticated statement in an entry as it will suspended over a dining table,” she writes. “And because each Montone is made by hand in Holland, the finish, shape, size, and amount of light can all be customized so that each is one-of-a-kind.”
The connection between many of the most actualized bloggers stem from a marvel dubbed Blogger 19, an effort by Brizo to bring together some of the most dynamic personalities in the design world. The faucet company summoned 19 bloggers to Manhattan for New York Fashion Week, treated them to Jason Wu’s runway show and showed them a fabulous time in the city. Among these 19 are Ann Porter, who blogs at KitchAnn Style and chose the Coco Deluxe fixture. Brizo’s dedication to supporting fashion design is an effort I admire greatly! Fashion designers like Wu admit they often glean inspiration for their clothing from interiors.
Carmen Natschke, the Decorating Diva, was also one of Brizo’s Blogger 19. She chose the Agatha, one of LZF’s suspension fixtures, as her favorite amongst our offerings, even before she saw them in person lighting the bar area at WantedDesign. She interviewed me in Paris last year and I was once again reminded of her brilliance in drilling down to the important aspects of any conversation—a sign of deep intelligence and great experience. She says she first fell in love with the Agatha when it debuted at ICFF. I guess I’d be bragging a bit if I said she has good taste but it is a fact!
Cheryl Kees Clendenon is another design dynamo who agreed to tap one of our products, choosing the LZF Air A sconce. The Pensacola-based designer heads up the award-winning In Detail Interiors. She said of the Air, “I love the fluid movement of the shape and how the base and shade are in harmony as one.” As you can see from the above romp through some of our Blogger’s Choice features, these are design devotees with plenty to say.
One more note before I leave you today: we’ll be expanding our “Life of a Rep” series, featuring a manufacturer’s rep each month beginning in February. We’ll kick off our new-and-improved effort this month by featuring an interview of our National Sales Manager Ron Rago, who is the, ahem, conduit between the reps and showrooms, and our in-house team at Global Lighting. He works with these professionals who dot the country from New York to Oregon and Miami to Los Angeles. The one rep we were able to nail down for an interview last year, Judd Belson of Belson Guinn Group, dished on everything from Holiday Inns to Xerox machines and ended his interview with a nod to Sinatra’s “My Way.” I promise there is more fun ahead as we bring these captains of industry front-and-center!