illumni Global Report: Light + Building 2012 – Day 5 by Lara Elbaz, Lara Elbaz Lighting Design

(illumni day 5 report is written exclusively for illumni by Lara Elbaz)

And when the fair closes and night falls the city awakens with Luminale’s installations and LIGHT becomes a universal language that unites world visitors and citizens to discover and experience the city at night.

The boundaries between lighting design and art blend and disappear to take us on fabulous sensation trips. I have seen and experienced some stunning works across town. Here are some of them: “Resonate”, a mysterious and magical installation of light and sound that takes place on a container ship and was designed by a group of students.

“Time drifts” by Philip Geist, who  projects words and images on the square of the Goethe university as well as on the people moving around it resulting in a striking living screen of mist and colours.

“Bones and beats”, a light art and live music intallation that turns the Dinosaur hall of the Senckenberg Naturmuseum into the most extraordinary and fantastic scene.

In a compeletly different style, I have also been impressed by Studio Drift’s work, at the Palmergaten, a very creative combination of craft and technology, that produces extremely  delicate and poetic pieces.

Apart from Luminale, I have attended a number of exciting events. Zumtobel organised a visit to the recently inaugurated  Städel Museum where Andreas Schulz, head of Licht Kunst Light was in charge of explaining the process his company followed to face a complicated project and design a successful lighting solution.

But what I found really interesting here was to understand how other Lighting Design practices work and the cultural differences between countries.

The explanation and museum visit was followed by a very much appreciated cocktail, perfect to chat and share with friends and colleagues from all over the world.

Another inspiring event was the one organized by French manufacterer Technilum, who invited American artist and lighting designer Leni Schwendiger to take us on one of her famous and unique Light Walks. And what an evening that was ! Apart from being very talented, Leni is a most enthusiastic and charismatic woman, she transmits tones of  positive energy and shows profound love and understanding of Light.

As explained during the previous talk , the Light walk is set as an exploration and discovery of “existing conditions “, shadows, reflections and emanations that define each particular night scape.  I highly recommended this very  inspirational experience if you ever get a chance! (2012-04-18. 21.18.07/2012-04-18. 21.08.18).

Finally and to put an end to my L+B 2012 trip, I went to visit German manufacturer ERCO’s head office and Light factory, located in Lüdenscheid, about 2 hours away from Frankfurt. A very beautiful building that combines old and modern architecture with a very strict respect to their corporate identity. I find visiting factories always interesting to understand the philosophy of a brand.

So my trip comes to an end. I’m going back home with loads of fresh ideas and inspiration, a bunch of new friends and very very sore feet!!


Lara Elbaz has a degree in Interior Design from the Escuela de Artes Decorativas. Madrid (1994) and she specialised in Lighting Design at the Instituto Europeo di Design. Madrid (1995).

Since 1995 she has worked exclusively in Lighting, first in for Philips Lighting (until 2005) in the Lighting Design office, to later specialize in Outdoor Architectural and Urban lighting. Then as Lighting Application Centre Manager, providing general lighting training. Later, as Outdoor Architectural and Urban Lighting Product Market Manager, in charge of managing of the product range, marketing plans and budgets and product introduction processes. She was also in charge of internal technical support and sales force training as well as customer training around Spain.

In July 2006, she started collaborating with Architectural Lighting Solutions. Until September 2008, she participated in architectural lighting design projects such as Madrid Rio and EXPO Agua 2008, Zaragoza, amongst others.

Since 2008, she is an Independent Lighting Designer. She has developed architectural lighting design as well as artistic projects and she has been teaching Lighting Design courses as part of the Interior Design Masters at the Instituto Europeo di Design (IED), in Madrid. She is the co-director of the Lighting Design Master 2010-2011 at the Instituto Europeo di Design (IED), in Madrid. And teaches the Environmental and Building Systems Workshop I at the ie architechture university in Segovia.

APDI (Spanish Lighting Designer’s Association) member.

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