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Flos Studios | Akari Lisa Ishii

“When I do the lighting design of different environments, I always think about the background of the place, of the history, using the form of the architecture, and also the people who will use that place”

Lighting Designer Akari Lisa Ishii
Place Light + Building 2018, Frankfurt
Creative Director Enrico Magistro

How do you relate with different expectations when illuminating different kinds of environment?

When I do the lighting design of different environments, I always think about the background of the place, of the history, using the form of the architecture, and also the people who will use that place. My motto is to use a kind of story according to each basic history that the project has on the site.

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Is technology changing your approach to lighting design as it changed within the last year and how?

When we do the lighting design, we think about what is the most suitable and most beautiful lighting environment which could fit that project.
The first thing I do is to close my eyes trying to imagine the best lighting environment for that place. Then I dream about the ideal lighting effect and then, after that, I have to come back to the reality and put my feet on the ground and see which lighting fixture, which technology, which control-system can realize what I dreamt about. Eventually, it comes to the reality, thanks to the new technology sometimes, because certainly, the new technology helps us to realize some more complicated things or the thing that we could have never ever been able to realize before, or ever thought about before.

It’s always very interesting to do this “back and forth” between technology and artistic expression, so this is how we, lighting designers, try to move on; it’s like having two wheels on the vehicle, you have the artistic wheel and the technical wheel, to go forward.

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When setting up a project for luxury brands, do you have specific needs in a process compared to other brands?

The luxury brands have a very specific requirements in terms of the quality of light and also the aesthetical look of the fixtures, so it’s very difficult to satisfy them, in terms of quality, because sometimes for the quality of light we need a big fixture or big equipment, but they want it to be as small as possible, as discreet as possible, and almost hidden, almost nothing in the space.

We are almost doing stage lighting so that light should not be seen in the boutique, but it has to show up the product which is like showing the actors on the stage. Of course, in architectural spaces, it is not always possible, so this is something we have to really take care about in each individual project and talk to the architect and the creators, and this is why we need a very close collaboration with our partners such as architects.

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How do you take advantage of Flos technological features and its desire of empowering human emotions through light?

What I like about Flos products is its very sophisticated balance between technology and aesthetic, it is very easy to incorporate because the fixture is nicely designed and it is not design-oriented fixtures. It’s very nice to have this good balance, I think that’s why I like Flos because it can be applied to many occasions, to many circumstances. Also the flexibility, in terms of the finishing, and the colours, I quite like these textures in Flos fixtures, because they’re very touchy and sometimes almost tactile and a bit emotional when you touch a very smooth and nice surface, or when I touch something more mechanical-looking, there is always something very human in the design of Flos products.

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Lighting Designer Akari Lisa Ishii
Place Light + Building 2018, Frankfurt
Creative Director Enrico Magistro