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Lighting public interiors in an era of shifting societal conventions

30 Jun 2019

DJCoalition’s work at The Nest bar balances vibrancy with intimate light, allowing visitors to connect socially on differing levels.From restaurants to bars, hotels to shopping malls, speakers at Melbourne's inaugural Light·Space·Design 2019 summit have decades of multi-varied experience to draw from. Two of the speakers share their thoughts with the Lighting magazine on the intricacies of lighting public interiors in an era of changing tenant expectations and shifting societal conventions ahead of the summit on March 27.

Designing for spaces that hundreds, potentially thousands of individuals inhabit on a daily basis requires a special kind of expertise. The architecture and interior design must simultaneously take into consideration the varying needs of each of these individuals, while enabling the type of social interaction necessary to aid the space in fulfilling its "public" function. Lighting, then, plays a key role in meeting these needs while ensuring it does not detract or overwhelm from the overall design.

The more we become comfortable occupying public spaces solo, the more opportunity lighting designers possess to create lighting that benefits us individually, rather than as part of a homogenous collective.

DJCoalition Director David Skelley has lit a number of hospitality venues across Australia and Asia. He says more thought needs to be given to individuals who choose to dine or drink solo. He says that "relaxing with friends over food or drink is such an important opportunity to recover from a hectic day, but often in today's busyness we eat in public places by ourselves."

"From my perspective lighting design needs to generate places in bars and restaurants where solo diners can feel comfortable, able to meet other diners or just be by themselves."

Beyond elevating the human-centric nature of lighting, this lifestyle shift enables designers to think more creatively. "As designers we can respond [to these changes] by creating spaces that also change - I enjoy spaces where light can be used to make a shifting space so that each visit to the venue can be subtly different."


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Image:  DJCoalition's work at The Nest bar balances vibrancy with intimate light, allowing visitors to connect socially on differing levels


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