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As lighting designers our job is to create, enhance or manipulate an experience. All design is based on interactions (whether direct or indirect) that create a generally positive experience, enhancing the user’s time (creat new memory) with a product or within a space. But how do we achieve this positive experience?

To me, sound, light and immersion are key to crafting experiences that captivate and consume us. I think that the truth is, regardless of why, those elements together can evoke some sort of sincere elation that is like an artfully crafted rollercoaster. That mild adrenaline of being assaulted by floods and ribbons of coloured light, while the music swells to a crescendo around you is something like no other. Like some sort of poor man’s thrill seeker, you just have to keep going back for more.

The way I like to get my fix of this delightful barrage of sound and light is by going to concerts, festivals and by hunting down every lighting installation I can find. The interesting thing that’s starting to emerge as technology advances, and as artists / designers want to keep pushing boundaries, is that lighting installations are not only part and parcel of festivals and gigs, but they’re even starting to become the main attraction.

This leads me to share three different, but just as delightful, examples of the union of light, sound and immersion that, since moving to London, I’ve been lucky enough to experience:

Tunnel Visions: Array – by 59 Productions – Barbican

This was the most simultaneously emotional, inspiring and elating installation I’ve ever seen. Being thrown into a dark tunnel with stunning, devastating classical music playing as projection mapping coated the walls of the entire tunnel around me was an absolutely amazing experience that sent every shiver down my spine. It was like some sort of Fantasia-esque, abstract story told with light and sound over an impressive 30 minutes.

The music in question was Esa-Pekka Salonen’s “Karawane”, specially recorded by the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus with additional sound design by Gareth Fry. It was about negative 1000 degrees Celsius that day, pouring with rain and our feet were numb, but we wanted to stand there and watch it again and again (and in fact, the bravest member of our group did stay). I still smile when I think about this one.

Arcade Fire – SSE Wembley Arena – show lighting by Moment Factory

This was such an accidental delight. When I was reading reviews about the concert, nobody told me about the ridiculously stunning lighting that went alongside it – I can genuinely say that the lighting was absolutely on par with a band as phenomenal as Arcade Fire.

As the physical boxing ring got torn down and replaced with a boxing ring of light, I was absolutely spellbound. There were huge disco balls that covered the stadium in glitter, and the rig above the band provided perfectly orchestrated illumination that not only proved that lighting is vital to a concert, but that Arcade Fire will never, ever fade into insignificance. If they haven’t toured through your city yet, make sure you go and see them. Go on, buy your tickets now, I’ll wait.

Arcadia – Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Now this is what I mean when I talk about installations becoming the main attraction. This giant mechanical spider made from bespoke, recycled pieces of machinery drew people from all around the UK. I didn’t talk to many people who were there for just the music; many were fans of what they affectionately named “Spider” from their time seeing it at Glastonbury Festival.

The show was truly jaw dropping – as someone who had been waiting to see Arcadia for years, this was most definitely a highlight of my year, so far. For anyone who doesn’t know what I’m talking about, it is (take a deep breath) a GIANT, moving, mechanical spider with projection mapping up the body, lasers coming out of literally everywhere, huge flamethrowers shooting flames into the heavens, moving floodlights for eyes, acrobatic artists hanging off the side, and a DJ booth protruding from the bottom where the likes of Rudimental and Groove Armada performed DJ sets. Special mention to the Lords of Lightning who (as part of the show) shot bolts of electricity out of some sort of Tesla Coil gloves that made me very nervous for their safety, and inspired one guy to yell “Yer a wizard, Harry!”.

If it sounds like it was an assault on the senses, it was. A wonderful, wonderful assault on the senses.

我忽然意识到我做一个设计师,是一种宿命。

我不能沉浸在一个行业里,却又他妈的追求完美,哪怕是片刻的。

我对让人激动的事物充满着热情,却又想和人类保持距离。

于是带上VR眼镜,在自己的世界里设计已知世界和未知世界的美好,成了我存在的意义。

原来模拟人生是如此影响我的。

我想,我还是想成为一个建筑师。

一个VR里盖房子的人。

而AAR就是我的第一步,只是我选择了看不见的声音作为material,配合灯光。

反正注定是一个废物了。

我给自己编了一个理由,我要是学了建筑学的话,我就一条道走下去了,我选择城市规划时,可能是我知道,我总会回到这条路上。

声音是世界的心脏。

为什么要相信自己有心呢,你都看不见,摸不到它。

你只有一些隐藏的证据来考证它的存在:

脉搏,与它有着微弱的牵连。

呼吸,在为它提供能量跳动。

我在的房间有心脏吗?如何找到它的脉搏和呼吸?

我从改CV中学到的几件事:

1 经历很重要,但是不够好也没关系,万事开头难,至少你走在那条路上了。

2 否定自己很简单,正式自己很难,正式自己不光荣的过去,不理想的成绩,没事,只要还有时间,就有进步的空间。

3 当我跟我的就业指导抱怨我只有一年的经历与这个岗位有关的时候,她说,这很好,很多人连这个都没有,不管它是一个星期还是一个月,都值得你把它highlight出来。