Friday, December 18, 2009

Gotham City

TV TOWER, StPetersburg, Russia

I invite you for a ride
Through the Gotham City night...

Not the brightest ditty, sorry! The experience is pretty poignant though! The TV Tower that I'm passing by every other day reminds an eery Christmas tree, with LEDs scintillating and flickering up and down and thus making the tower a focal point in the city as your eye is inevitably drawn to the glowing carcass. 

And at night the beam starts ferreting the skies. Sinister party!

Photo - courtesy: KOBA.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009



The endless debate on urban development cannot leave out the essential part of a modern city - lighting. It's been used for commercial purposes, like advertising, and has recently been more and more applied for social projects. If we can create a shop identity with the help of lighting, why not use it to give some unique local flavour and differentiate on a broader city scale?

Thus, the fantastic project of the digital facade for Medialab Prado in Madrid. The patented device of large LED screen is used for idea sharing and info exchange, the system consists of a regular matrix of nodes of RGB LEDs implemented by means of aluminium cones, the section of which has been designed to reflect the beam of light of emission sources and to improve the screen’s viewing.

Yep, just give a brush to the genuine artist... next post is on other LED application, for a fine contrast!

Monday, December 14, 2009

On Light, Universe and Everything


Everything is different there: everpresent sun, high high high skies, colours and fragrances, faces and facades... The distance is measured in towers ("Now, you go two towers farther..."). Past meets future and Futurama is diluted by Tradition. Here you can come across traditional "old-fashioned" elements in modernist interiors. Like, musharabija as a decorative pattern and functional Persian blinds at the same time.

Signs attract special attention: they look like strokes (it's called "flourish"in ornamental script and the name is well justified imo). And they demand a somewhat different approach in designing and lighting.

Lighting can indicate the society lifestyle: in the Mall of the Emirates, a mega-shopping mall where you can be walking for hours shopping, watching movies, mountain-skiing or snowboarding, sipping coffee or dining out, you can also participate in social events or go reaaaal clubbing. Well, unlimited indoor opportunities in the Arrakis land. A universe in itself.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Lighthouse Family

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, I have an honour to present... another kid from the Family of Lighting Geeks, our dear colleague Carl (apllause)! As if being a lighting designer and a Green Lighting Concept Guru is not enough, Carl can accompany the work process with writing "quick poems" -- and trust me, we are speaking obsession, well, the light form of obsession here!

OK, giving the floor to the poet:

When playing with light

Thinking of what one might

Create or destroy

I get excited with joy

Because lighting is my toy


Luscious like lazer,

Exploding emotions everywhere,

Dramatic disco delirium

All these silly abbreviations…

Saturday, October 3, 2009


KENT'S STUNNING VIDEO Columbus features two leading "actors":   1) the city  2) the lighting. Urban lighting permeates the scene and oozes from every pore. It enhances movement and somehow creates this feel of loneliness in a crowd. It's very Scandinavian, it's very human. It's universal. 

Personally, I adore this time of day, when the city lights are on and people are rushing somewhere in the darkness lit only by the moon, the stars and the lamps. Everyone has a secret: the faces are not exposed and you can conceal your real self and be a bit of someone else. And your Daddy is holding your hand and telling you of constellations while you're going home from his theatre performance... 

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

New Light.In Logo

OUR NEW LOGO has been created by one of the most talented graphic designers and our friend, Alexis Dernov. Merci beaucoup, Alexis! Thanks to you, nos cœurs sons toujours à Paris!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Waste Wood, Fuselage Cupboards... and Bestlite

ARTEK SHOWROOM, Helsinki, Finland

Alvar Aalto, the legendary Finnish designer and architect, has created some unsurpassed pieces of furniture, now manufactured by Artek. In the frameworks of Helsinki Design Week 2009, we were lucky to visit the Artek showroom and find there an exhibition of Piet Hein Eek, a Dutch designer, whose work of wood and alluminium challenges the bravest imaginarium. Fantisizing about an aluminium kicker in St. Petersburg (kickers are very popular in this city, we have one at our office. Corporate kicking is stress-releasing, you know :)...

Actually, we never miss an opportunity to drop in there, it's one of our savoured places in this awesome city. The showpieces are objects to die for -- including Bestlite, the favourite Winston Churchill's lamp, he was no amateur, eh? (below, right)

What else? The lighting is quirky and yet it's another "object" to contemplate: first of all it's old, seems that it's purely functional and there's a feeling that different types and kinds of fixtures have been picked up and placed all over the place without any concept or design in mind... Cool hodgepodge!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Programming - Neighbourghood Invited!

THE VIDEO ROBOTS of the Russian alternative artist Dolphin brings to a focus the topic of a big city rythm transforming at some point into a chaotic routine, the Brownian movement that turns us into robots. Scary picture! 

Our focus is on how the big city lights dominate the urban landscape. The rythm of switching on/off makes housings act as big screens. This way, we all contribute to the lighting scene. 

PS. Trying to figure which pattern we could make on OUR big Finnish housing... out to ask the neighbours :)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Lighting Trends As Seen By Light.In'

AS EVERY AUTUMN the world starts to sum up, analyse and make prognosis, we couldn't stay away and decided to jump on the fortune-telling bandwagon. And the figure 2010 looks quite futuristic itself so... Here is the future lighting as we see it, the decorative and techno sides of it.


In recent projects (recent übercool projects, that is) there's a tendency to apply gigantic lighting fixtures, the bigger the better: they may constitute the whole wall, functioning as fake windows, or create an illusion of a ceiling opening up and letting the light flood the room. The scale of pendants is also getting bigger, thus turning the fixtures into modern statues in themselves.


Made-to-measure - oh, we love the cut! We all want to look unique (maybe, looking unique drives us to the next step - being unique). Customization helps us to position in another way. The staple product doesn't satisfy anymore. Of course, we continue to admire and use the design items that scream "Ingo Maurer" or "Louis Poulsen" but sometimes even a big designer name is not enough. The lighting garment constructed to fit each customer, each room individually - forget standartization!

Moomin Store, Vantaa Airport, Helsinki: Cloud-shaped fixtures.


Architecture and lighting merging - the daydream of evvvvvery arch! Lighting being one of the raw materials and not a focal point in the interior, lighting built-in geometric figures, non-existent lighting supporting architectural details of a room, abstract lighting helping to single out goods in a retail environment. You don't see it!


We've made several posts on this trend (Paris Stripes A New Trend, Stripe-y Trend Update, Marimekko Graphic Line) - linear fluo tubes used for "lighting sketches". Simple shape, unlimited abilities. And such a graphic result! We couldn't control ourselves and have tried our hand(s) at making a story board for the luminaire PEN (the name is a derivative from "pendant").


It's all about new technologies. And it's all about inner-child who has got the new toy and tries to make or break. Diods are providing vast possibilities, and we seem to go far'n'beyond. This DMX colour changing chaos, this sparkle and Christmas Tree effect - maybe it's not a prediction but a desire to see something truly stylish. So, LED applied unobtrusively and to the point. Let it be!

Golden Ring Hotel, Moscow, Russia Photo:


Check out iTune Store, there's a number of a pocket programming applications for iPhone (Pocket LD, for example). They let a lampie (theater jargon for a light designer) create a couple of efx on the go. In our times of techno-savvy divas, who would wave aside an opportunity to make up a light scenario at home or in an office turning it into a stage (using a phone or a wifi device, for divas are rolling stones)?

Software for DMX control screenshot Picture - courtesy:


Future of lighting industry is going to be defined by electronics companies. Light sources as we know them pass away, giving the floor to solid state lighting (aka LED) with incredible possibilities for programming, design and application. A common "lighting device" will have its own interface (no doubt, user friendly; farewell too-square-too-techno, hours of figuring out which button to push). New G power sources will let mains roll back and free apartments, offices, stores of wiring.

No limits. Close your eyes and see the light.


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Marimekko Graphic Line

MARIMEKKO STORE, Helsinki, Finland

Is it a token of a cool shop? Or great minds think the same and catch the zeitgeist? Either way, it seems that the trend for light lines and patterns made of our fav fluo tubes spreads all over the world. Like pencil strokes, the linear lines can create whatever print you choose - provided you have space and imagination. Eaaaaasy!

Above, the Finnish company Marimekko that manufactures clothing, textiles, bags and accessories and is famous for it's super-cool graphic prints (ah, stripes for T-shirts are symbolic of the Marimekko brand) uses stripes for drawing with light. Spiral rays for clothes and bags floor, asymmetric lines for the moving staircase walls. 

...and one more stripey T-shirt for me :)

Saturday, September 12, 2009


TALKING ABOUT FUTURE? How about colour-changing photochromic threads for a costume or a dress? Calvin Klein's take on transformation concept is featured in the latest issue of Vmagazine (digging the name, BTW :). Innovative materials, creative designs, striking results!

Visionaire 56 SOLAR, a limited edition fashion and art album, has taken the concept even further and developed photochromic inks for prining photography. Black'n'white artwork issue changes from all-white to pastels when exposed to direct sunlight. Collaboration with the today's most talented artists from Peter Lindbergh and Mario Sorrenti to Yoko Ono has turned the issue into a masterpiece of art and technology.

Image - courtesy: Vmagazine, Visionaire 56 Solar.

Mirrors of the Past

SVENSKA TEATERN, Helsinki, Finland

When in Helsinki, it is impossible to miss the Swedish Theater or Svenska Teatern. If not for a show, then for an apperitif, if not for a drink, then for a Marimekko messanger bag. You pass it when wandering via Esplanaden to the Harbour. One of the Finnish capital wonders has a 1860s interior created by a Russian architect Nicolai Benois and a 1920's functionalism envelope by Eero Saarinen and Jarl Eklund.

Coming out of the Theatteri Grill we saw these vertically placed mirrors on the walls. Their role is to reflect wall luminaires and spill light on the terrace, and, probably, help the restaurant's stuff to watch so that no guest slips away. And your variant?

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Perfect Symmetry

Yes, indeed. That was the perfect symmetry of the best music, amazing band, incredible atmosphere and... stage lighting! 

The Keane concert in StPetersburg was superb! We found ourselves in the midst of a crowd, dancing and singing and waving our hands, captured completely and utterly until the lighting nerd worm inside us cried: Look up guys! The light effects! That lilac! And that succession of changing scenes!

The stage lighting is all about creating emotions and leading the audience throughout the show, from one song to another, from sadness to exaltation, from feeling the dramatic unity and empathy with the band to clearly realizing the greatness and god-like quality of the performers... to catharsis.

All this and much more was created at that concert. The LD behind it - Matt Arthur (Matt, thank you!), the show was designed and programmed by Rob Sinclair. And this is a perfect inspiration for us, those in professional lighting, for only adding emotion we can spice up a still life of an interior.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Glamourousssssssss woulda been... the classic entourage of disco glamour, all those beams and gleams and sparkles, costume dancing and diamonds...

Aber... Mein Gott! Die Stimme! This is the perfect antidote to the frivolous genre, the voice and the lyrics. And I love paradoxes. And complexity. And lighting. In any form!

So... this is the combination of both, the wrapping and the content: the world seems cruel "when the lights are on, but everyone's gone". And you're standing in the spotlight alone, this is the most nightmarish of all my dreams (Dear Sigmund, please, analyse this! :) Or, "when the lights are out on every street" (Dear Valentina, please, add more lighting to our streets! :)

Meanwhile here I am, glancing over and over and over again, mesmerized by the flows of glint, twinkle, glitz, glitter, frozen tears...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Five Storeys of DeLight!

LOFT PROJECT ETAGI, St Petersburg, Russia

Conceptual. Loft. Design. Young. Smart. Concentrating on what's vital and leaving out what's not. Sounds Russian? To us, now, yes! That's probably one of the coolest places in StPete and in Russia (OK, there are SOME places that pretend to be cool... but there's too much PR noise around and too much money invested and too many expensive things inside... not really our thing!).

The former bread factory in the downtown, Loft Project Etagi now hosts 5 levels of galleries, a designer store, a bookstore, a cafe, a bar and a hostel. The interior design combines old partially broken tiles, trampled out staires and old industrial luminaires with the furniture of Charles and Ray Eames and Magis, solid wooden floors and contemporary materials.   

The canteen/cafe called Green Room is a space lit by daylight coming from big windows (also there's a terrace) so green spotlights with green barndoors are just adding to this ambient lighting effect. The same spotlights are used throughout the place together with fluo tubes and suspended luminaires. Effect lighting is created by a bunch of incandescent lamps and... 

... some decorative chandeliers (the Backstage boutique selling Russian and Baltic designers, I'm the regular! :)

To top it all literally, the LoftWineBar with wine (no surprise!) and designer luminaires over the bar counter as well as white pendants and white floor lamps - note also the fittings in the floor levels used decoratively and for orientation during movie nights. One of our favourite places in the city!

The White Hall gallery space on the ground floor was all occupied by big cages with dogs and cats waiting for their new owners - a charity event organized by Etagi - and we could not very well focus on the lighting... when those eyes were looking at us... we'd take them all!!! 

Also above right - one of the galleries in place of a former storage, with low ceiling height so the fluo tube rows are just enough for lighting it up.

The staires are left unchanged and decorated with the help of posters of the forthcoming events, orientation signs and old fluo tubes mounted either vertically or horizontally.

For dessert, the room that shocked me: the toilet walls are made of semi-opaque and semi-transparent thin plastic which you can encounter in green houses. So you can actually see through it! And the scarce lighting provides more than enough visibility... Please turn off the light! :) :)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Flower kiosk spills light on streets

ORANGE FLOWER KIOSKS, St. Petersburg, Russia

Getting back to the idea of how urban landscapes are changed by spilled light. Here's one of numerous flower shops, belonging to the Orange chain in St. Petersburg. They use a opaque acryllic ceiling with warm fluo tubes as well as some high pressure sodium spotlights (one of the best imaginable light sources for lighting up plants and flowers). Panoramic windows let a passer-by feel the jungle and rain-forest atmosphere from inside. Light produces life and pours it out on the streets.

On Cars And More... On Cars

AT THE PALACE BRIDGE, StPetersburg, Russia

A shot from a horror movie: black cars attacking people! Er... almost :) and the most carnivorous is the Mercedes painted matt black! As if intended to emphasise the contrast, all the other cars are also black, but glossy black. We've noticed the numerous vehicles painted matt black and started figuring the purpose. Maybe we're wrong (then we'll be more than happy to learn the real reason!) but we came up with an idea that this matt paint doesn't reflect light and makes the automobiles invisible in the darkness. StPete's Stealth!


A case of accidental lighting: taillights of a car coming out of an underground parking are overspread on walls making a dramatic appearance of the "actor", automatic fence acting as curtains...

PS. The guy at the BMW steering weel was very nice! He waited patiently until we took a picture of him... So - no worries, there was no danger! :)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Кино Звезда по имени Солнце

Revolution in my head! 

No sooner had I felt the sudden desire to listen to Kino that the skies opened and the songs started falling on me, original, remixes, a friend from France turned out a big Kino fan, a friend from Sweden was listening to the band... and Kino's songs are: 1) famous for their groundbreaking lyrics  2) contain a lot of metaphors referring to the Sun, the stars and fire.

Here is one of the best songs by Kino, Star Called Sun. We won't go deep into the text analysis and concentrate on the lighting setting. What we like is that the video doesn't seem too old and doesn't really belong to 2 decades ago. The guys's manner of performing is the same as they were playing their live concerts. So they are sometimes literally "in the limelight" and you can't tell if it's a video or a concert. The choice of colour and light setting somehow accentuate the dark and tragic lyrics. Again, light makes the difference.

To contrast, placing the remix video of Star Called Sun by Brazzaville, the visual tone is completely different, more sad and romantic, as well as the lyrics.  

*Kino is the legendary Russian rock band of the 90s, the darkest time of economic and political turmoil, the leader Viktor Tsoj was the cult underground figure with almost unprecedented popularity... He died in a road accident in the 90s.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Trinity Bridge Lanterns

TRINITY BRIDGE, St. Petersburg, Russia

The Neva river is as proud with its sashes of bridges as an Imperial general, and Trinity bridge is of the highest rank of course. The bridge was built by 1903, when the city celebrated its 200-years anniversary. Mrs. Eiffel was this close to winning the competition, but the project of the Building Company Batignolles was chosen. 

Trinity of poles and lanterns supports the holy idea. It imresses. Look closer >>

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Love Is The Essence

OK. This is perfection. No. THIS IS PERFECTION!!! It's a blending of my punk nature and my childhood spent backstage while my Dad was performing. Even the cable noodles don't disturb me (and I'm a real geek here, once had 32 electrical sockets on only 8 wall surfaces. A geek, as I said! :)

The black-n-white video with only one colour accent - red PJ Harvey's lips - is minimalistic almost to the point of extreme: the singer, the guitar, the white background... and the lighting! Breath-taking! The images sharply divided or flowing smoothly... the shadows and contrasts accentuating the singer's silhouette and these two shots, the 1st with a club/stage spotlight feel and the 2nd with her fringe against the wall, a shadow play...

Yeah I know the lighting design takes its origin from the theatre... But never before I thought about it serously. Now the urge to create is almost unbearable! 

This is love, this is love
That I'm feeling! 

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Flying HIGH...

Dear RS, this picture is inspired by your comment (we LUV Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy :) and as I've recently caught this 'cosmic craving' from my colleague Fedor I've decided to place this a-ma-zing picture of Helix Nebula (aka the Eye of God as it is metaphorically called by the poets of our society :). Actually, it's a succesion - or, rather, a composite - of images taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

The astronomers are being very close to us lighting freaks watching this "trillion-mile-long tunnel of glowing gases" - we are humans, after all, and a human brain just cannot embrace the cosmic dimensions... at least my big brain can't :)

At its center is dying star which has ejected masses of dust and gas to form tentacle-like filaments stretching toward an outer rim composed of the same material. They say, our sun may look like this in several billion years.

I like the feeling of the words as they're slipping off my tongue... the Kohoutek 4-55 planetary nebula in the constellation Cygnus... A miraculous visual effect - but not to our bare eyes!

Photo - Courtesy: NASA, WIYN, NOAO, ESA, Hubble Helix Nebula Team, M. Meixner (STScI), & T. A. Rector (NRAO)

Light Well - Well?..


Where else if not in the city famous for its White Nights (oh those nights... OK, this is another story :) could we encounter the light well as it is and in such an abundance (we are in Russia, remember?). Solid concrete roof/ceiling with lots of wells dispersing light + big front edge window walls + big :) screens displaying destinations and time table - they all constitute the lighting setting for the huge hall (see, Russian's synonymic to "huge" and "big").

Daylight helps in cutting down the energy consumtion and this is amazing 'cause in the 70's (the time the building's construction refers to) the energy cost was low in the Soviet Union... Thinking future - the architects of the past were good at it!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Inside Out

MERTENS HOUSE, St. Petersburg, Russia

Once Vas thought that since I am working on an outdoor project at work, I should say some word on how we see urban environment from outside. I found this idea interesting and went out. Here's the first shot in the series: Mertens House on Nevsky Prospect in St. Petersburg as seen in twilight. Zara put in some architectonic details and split pleasant yellowish light pouring outside through uneven mesh. Wet asphalt adds on!

Historical detail: the building was built in 1870 by A. Poten for Mertens Fur Shop. Now houses Zara clothes and house utencils.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Stripe-y Trend Update

SOLINGEN BOUTIQUE, StPetersburg, Russia.

The cool fluorescent tubes used for retail decoration are quite noticable... in StPete now. Passing by the Solingen boutique which sells knives and tableware we encountered our favourite lighting sources. Here in an antique sellar setting, placed against old brick slope ceilings in the form of a glowing web. Captivating, d'you think?

Light birds

PETER AND PAUL FORTRESS, St. Petersburg, Russia

Look closer. Those are not a bunch of doves on the roof of Peter and Paul Fortress in St. Pete. It's a set of flood lights to reach up roughly 120 m (393 feet) of  Peter and Paul Cathedral.

Sunday, July 26, 2009



One of the most inspiring and intellectual buildings in St. Pete, Singer House (architect Pavel Syuzor, built 1902 -- 1904, restored 2006), hosts extensive bookstore, a cafe with a nice view, and exposes these wonderfully crafted wall luminaries. They are being restored one by one, and there's an older version (the farthest fitting).
Posted from a mobile device.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

So Simple... Yet So Refined!


Maybe it just reminds me very much of Paris (oh Paris!) and the organic restaurant chain Le Pain Quotidien with it's simple rustic yet refined and sincere setting - well, we can argue on the concepts of quality fast food and le pain quotidien, the daily bread still... Maybe the name Frikadelki sounds Scandinavian (it's Russian for köttbullar)... Maybe it's a 10 min walk from my new office in StPete... Anyway, I like it!

The terrace - the orange tent letting the natural sunlight come through gives this warm happy glow on faces and food - ough, dangerous! :) Big twiggen Ikea fixtures help in creating the datcha feel which is supported by rough undone wooden signes with burnedout letters and pictures. The signes are lit by very trendy Loft lamps by Jielde which are in vogue in Paris right now.

The counter is made of glass Ikea pots with LED put inside - improvised lighting fixture aka display and storage stand. Nothing new but goes well with the general concept. A little bit of imagination - et voila! The general and accent lighting is solved with the help of nice-looking Ikea spotlights on tracks - have to explore Ikea range more carefully next time I go there...

My fav is the pendant fixture made of (surprise!) Ikea stainless steel pots and some light sources in the middle - the glow from the light source is almost non-existent as the construction is flexible as the whole mass of pots slightly moves with a smallest draught air.

PS. ...yeah, the food is tassssssty, BTW :) The place is in StPetersburg, Vasiljevsky Ostrov, and then call me for orientation :)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Green merchandising


Want to see the evolution of merchandising in practice? Come see spontaneous racks along highways in Sverdlovsk oblast, some 30 km from Yekaterionburg. Peoples' wit uses white sheets to add on contrast for racks with Russian banya bunches, or veniks. With days coming shorter, they start using incandescent lamps turned backwards from drivers and inwards to the rack. If I get the chance to travel there by that time, I will try to make a picture.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Hussein + Moritz = Haute, Very Hot Couture!

A software, a microchip, a curcuit board, a cable joint, a processor, a memory disc, a clock... Packages of batteries and a monitor supporting LED diods... Doesn't read like couture at all! Yet it is - Hussein Chalayan's pioneering designs supported by new technologies and a hi-tech filling by Moritz Waldemeyer have turned a simple... cocktail... dress into an Extra-Terrestrial Party Dress! 

...Aaah I wantIwantIwant shock the crowd at my next black tie party!

Photos - courtesy

Friday, June 5, 2009

Paris trend spreads

MEGA STORE, Yekaterinburg, Russia. Back to our post on Paris striped trend -- here it is, miles and miles away.
Posted from a mobile device.

Future Started Yesterday...

EKATERINBURG, Russia. Today the protest meeting at the place of the demolished historical monument, Yarutin's House in Ekaterinburg, was organized. The popular Russian rock-band Chaif initiated the gathering of the architects and all those not indifferent to the destiny of the "old town" architecture. Yarutin's House was located in the very heart of the downtown and was demolished one night without any (legal and material) trace left... So sad when the city famous for its "merchant houses" - officially protected by the state as historical monuments - loses its face and becomes another glass-n-steel monster cloned endlessly... Anti-Utopian tomorrow's starting now.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The best is the enemy of good

ARCHMOSCOW, Moscow, Russia. LEDs provide a user with uncountable opportunities. Why use them all at a time?

OPERA HOUSE, Yekaterinburg, Russia. I wonder if a person making this 'lighting design' ever been to the Opera?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Archmoscow: Italian stone gardens

ARCHMOSCOW, Moscow, Russia. This installation at the Garden of Stone exposition is inspiring indeed. It is very laconic and simple. Natural, in a way. Theatrical, in another.


SALYUT MULTIPLEX, Yekaterinburg, Russia. This place is already famous for the longest release of the "Titanic" (19 months!) and now it can line up in a raw of the most interesting lighting design places. Ground floor meets a visitor with a red filtered aggressivness and chills a movie goer with a raindrops of pendant LED spots. Bravissimo!