Flos Studios | Jan van Lierde
“When people ask what kind of services we deliver, I always say that lighting design is only 50% of my work, and they say “what’s the other 50%?”, it’s the automation and the control of lighting.”
Lighting Designer Jan van Lierde
Place Light + Building 2018, Frankfurt
Creative Director Enrico Magistro
In public or private works, what is at the core of your lighting architecture?
We work for human beings, and so we basically try to respect as much as we can, what are the needs of the human being. Technology and design are helpful tools; if you hang a camera in front of your eyes and you walk through a building that we have done, you will see that the iris of your eye is hardly moving, so that’s a constant search in our work, to make sure that the iris is always comfortable.
How much the new technologies are changing your approach to lighting design?
We live in a fascinating world right now. If I remember, years back, we had lighting fixtures and we had bulbs. Nowadays, with LED technology, everything goes integrated, so technology enters in the world of design and fixtures, which goes with so many criteria, which we have to take in consideration when we do a proper job for a proper client.
Before it was a much simpler dialogue, and clients could understand it easier; today, it’s our role to teach them and bring our knowledge that we built up by doing tests in the laboratory, to advise precisely what is needed today with this new technology.
How important is Flos’ offering all kinds of high-end lighting solutions for all ambients, including the realization of luxury custom lights?
Our first concern is to satisfy a client and product comes in the second place. of course, I think any individual has his own preferences, you come back always to a number of companies that you like to work with. the reason behind is that you have a good dialogue. I know that for any question that I bring to Flos, I get the answer in the shortest time, and we can move forward. We have a great support, and that’s a fundamental thing.
It’s not that easy with every company to reach that level of sophistication.
I have of course a creative background, nowadays we produce ourselves prototypes with 3D printing and the learning curve to make custom designs and also to bring them to companies like Flos has been accelerating tremendously in the latest months, that these machines are working day and night for us.
When it comes to automation, where do you think the future is headed to?
When people ask what kind of services we deliver, I always say that lighting design is only 50% of my work, and they say “what’s the other 50%?”, it’s the automation and the control of lighting.
We prefer an automation where people use one finger an, according to the time of the day, they get the right setting, and for that you need, of course, a whole system behind it, that we program and that allows us to adapt the atmosphere to what is required for that moment, and this can go much further, not only in hospitality where you give the best of services but also in retail, where you can create dynamic situations with the visitors, and the guests in the shop can experience something unseen before, like we’ve done in a restaurant, in Riyadh, in such a way that if they move the tables, the service of the hotel comes with an iPad and let light follow the new arrangement of the tables. Some people want to have a bit more dimmed light, you can easily do that. and this is a role in hospitality again where, as they say in Italian, the camerieri can bring this service to the table, not only by the food and selection of wine or whatever but also by giving another kind of gentle dialogue with their guests.